Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions, such as not eating after midnight on the night before your appointment.
  • Write down your symptoms, including when they started and how they may have changed or worsened over time.
  • Write down key personal information.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that you're taking.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Questions to ask your doctor

Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is the most likely cause of my condition?
  • What kinds of tests do I need?
  • If I need surgery, what will my recovery be like?
  • How will my diet and lifestyle change after I have surgery?
  • What follow-up care will I need?

Don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions about your symptoms, such as:

  • When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to worsen your symptoms?
  • Do you have a personal or family history of colon cancer, polyps or familial adenomatous polyposis?
  • Do you take medications to reduce stomach acid?
Oct. 17, 2012