GASTROENTEROLOGY AS A SPECIALTY
A gastroenterologist is a specialist in diseases and symptoms of the digestive tract which includes the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, liver, biliary tract and pancreas. Common complaints include bleeding, heartburn, abdominal pain, hepatitis, diarrhea, constipation, family history of cancers, incontinence and irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterologists receive specialized training in the evaluation and treatment of this system which may include special procedures including colonoscopy and upper endoscopy.
After completing college and medical school, a gastroenterologist receives three years of training in general internal medicine and an additional three years of specialized training focused on the digestive system, which includes specific and intensive training in the safe and effective performance of endoscopic procedures.
Our physicians are all fellowship trained and certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and have fulfilled the requirements for the sub-specialty Board of Gastroenterology.
A typical gastrointestinal evaluation usually involves an interview with a physical examination, and may include specialized studies such as x-rays or other imaging studies. Endoscopic procedures involve the passage of flexible lighted instruments to view the inside of the digestive tract. Endoscopy allows the physician to evaluate for precancerous lesions, inflammation or sources of bleeding. During endoscopy a variety of therapeutic interventions can also be performed including biopsies, control of bleeding, removal of precancerous lesions (e.g. polyps), injection of medications and stretching or dilation of narrowings in the GI tract.
Our patients are usually referred to us by another provider for a specific evaluation or treatment. When this is completed, we will correspond with that physician or provider, summarizing our findings and recommendations. We may assume care of a specific digestive problem, but we will usually refer you back to your physician or provider for ongoing care. We see adult patients 18 and older.
All of our doctors are staff in good standing at several hospitals in the Treasure Valley area.