Expert: Gastroenterology

Digestive Health Clinic

This state-of-the-art outpatient healthcare facility provides for the comprehensive care of diseases of the digestive system and liver. Virtually all gastrointestinal services are available in the convenience and comfort of our clinic. The physicians of Digestive Health Clinic evaluate and treat patients in an outpatient clinic area. The Idaho Endoscopy Center allows the physicians to provide the highest quality endoscopic services in one of the finest outpatient endoscopy centers in the nation.

Our Gastroenterologists are Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology

Samuel S. Gibson, M.D.
Ike D. Tanabe, M.D.
Nic R. Cordum, M.D.
Robb F. Gibson, M.D.
Stephen M. Schutz, M.D.
Mark A. Mallory, M.D.
Christopher J. Goulet, M.D.
Tracy M. Young, F.N.P.

Know the facts about Colon and Rectal Cancer

- More than 56,000 men and women die each year from colon and rectal cancer.
- Colon and rectal cancer is the third most common cause of death from cancer in both men and women.
- Five percent of Americans will develop colon cancer at some point in their lives.

Fortunately:

You can drastically reduce your risk of colon cancer with proper screening and surveillance
- Having regular testing performed
- Making healthy lifestyle choices

With proper testing from qualified physicians, as many as 90 percet of cases of colon and rectal cancer can be prevented.

This is because:

- Colon cancers are generally slow growing
- Precancerous polyps can be identified and removed through colonoscopy, preventing them from progressing onto cancer

Who should have colon cancer screening with colonoscopy?

- Everyone over the age of 50
- People with a family history of colon cancer or precancerous polyps
- A change in bowel habits
- Blood in or on the stool
- Frequent diarrhea or constipation symptoms
- Stools that are smaller than usual
- Weight loss with no obvious cause
- Abdominal discomfort (bloating, fullness, and/or cramps)

While having these symptoms might suggest colon or rectal cancer, they can also be associated with benign conditions. Discuss these symptoms with your doctor to make sure. And don't forget to ask if it's time to consider colonoscopy

Colon cancer: Preventable...Treatable...Beatable

Do you know who is performing your colonoscopy?

As the awareness of the need to prevent colon cancer grows, more and more men and women are following the advice of their doctors and undergoing colonoscopy. But not all people who perform colonoscopy are equal, and you should be sure that the physician performing yours is optimally trained.

Questions to ask:

1) Is the doctor performing the colonoscopy a Gastroenterologist?
A gastroenterologist is a subspecialist in gastrointestinal diseases who has received intensive training in colonoscopy.

2) What training in colonoscopy did the doctor receive?
All gastroenterologists have undertaken an additional two to four years of specialized training focused on diseases of the digestive system. This training greatly increases the chances that the doctor can successfully and safely complete the procedure, as well as make additional recommendations if abnormal results are found.

3) How many colonoscopies has the doctor performed?
Most gastroenterologists perform at least 1000 colonoscopies during their specialty training, and continue to perform more than 500 procedures per year after completing their training.

4) How often does the doctor complete the colonoscopy?
Your doctor should be able to provide statistics on his or her ability to perform a complete procedure to the end of the colon. The rate of successful completion should exceed 95%.

5) Can the doctor remove polyps that are identified during colonoscopy?
It is not enough to simply find polyps on colonoscopy. A person trained in colonoscopy should be able to successfully remove the overwhelming majority of polyps discovered during a colonoscopy.

Does my insurance cover these procedures?

Our facility is Medicare and Medicaid approved. We contract with or accept most insurance payors.
Please ask your physician for a referral to see any of our physicians.