Gastroenterology

Colon Cancer screening & early detection saves lives!
Is it time for YOUR colon cancer screening?
If you are over 50, or have certain risk factors, it IS time for yours.
Did you know that at least 60% of colon cancer deaths could
be prevented if everyone had a regular screening?

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US. Every time you have a screening colonoscopy, it reduces your chance of getting colon cancer by up to 90%!
Contact your primary care physician today to ask about getting screened at 719-522-1133.
Welcome to the Colorado Springs Health Partners, P.C. Gastroenterology Department.

Gastroenterology is a medical specialty that involves the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the digestive system. These disorders may affect the esophagus (food tube), stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon), rectum, liver, gallbladder and pancreas."
Why would I need to see a Gastroenterologist?

There are many reasons a person may need to see a Gastroenterologist. However, our Board-Certified Gastroenterologist is frequently asked to evaluate the following problems:

Abdominal painConstipationDiarrheaDifficulty swallowing
Gallbladder diseaseHeartburnIndigestionLiver problems
Pancreas problemsRectal bleeding


What diseases does a Gastroenterologist generally treat?

Some diseases that are diagnosed and treated by a gastroenterologist include:

Acid refluxCirrhosisColon cancerColon polyps
Crohn's diseaseDiverticulosisGallstonesGas
HepatitisIrritable bowel syndromePancreatic diseasePeptic ulcer disease
Ulcerative colitis


How do Gastroenterologists diagnose problems?

Gastroenterologists may perform the following procedures to help make a diagnosis:

Capsule EndoscopyColonoscopyUpper Endoscopy
Bravo/24 hour pH monitoringFlexible Sigmoidoscopy with HalflytelySpecial information for Coumadin Patients

Capsule Endoscopy is the latest in cutting-edge technology allowing direct visualization of the small intestine, previously only seen via surgical techniques. The Capsule is a small camera about the size of a vitamin capsule. It emits a light and takes two (2) pictures per second as it traverses the gastrointestinal tract. The pill is easily swallowed and transmits the images to a recording device worn around the waist. These images are then downloaded to a computer where they are reviewed by a physician. The capsule passes through the digestive tract and is excreted with a bowel movement.



Colonoscopy lets the physician look inside your entire large intestine, from the lowest part (the rectum) all the way up through the colon to the lower end of the small intestine. The procedure takes about 30 minutes, and is used to look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. It is also used to diagnose the causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits. Colonoscopy enables the physician to see inflamed tissue, abnormal growths, ulcers, and bleeding. For the procedure, you will lie on your left side on the examining table. You will probably be given pain medication and a mild sedative to keep you comfortable and to help you relax during the exam. The physician will insert a long, flexible, lighted fiber-optic tube into your rectum and slowly guide it into your colon. The tube is called a colonoscope. The scope transmits an image of the inside of the colon, so the physician can carefully examine the lining of the colon. The scope bends, so the physician can move it around the curves of your colon. You may be asked to change position occasionally to help the physician move the scope. The scope also blows air into your colon, which inflates the colon and helps the physician see better.



Upper Endoscopy (also known as gastroscopy, EGD, or esophagogastroduodenoscopy) is a procedure that enables your doctor to examine the lining of the esophagus (food pipe), stomach and duodenum (first portion of the small intestine). A flexible, lighted tube about the thickness of your little finger is placed through your mouth and into the stomach and duodenum. Upper endoscopy is performed to evaluate symptoms of persistent upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing or heartburn. It is an excellent method for finding the cause of bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract. It can be used to evaluate the esophagus or stomach after major surgery. It is more accurate than X rays for detecting inflammation, ulcers or tumors of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. Upper endoscopy can detect early cancer and can distinguish between cancerous and non cancerous conditions by performing biopsies of suspicious areas. Biopsies are taken by using a specialized instrument to sample tissue. These samples are then sent to the laboratory to be analyzed. A biopsy is taken for many reasons and does not mean that cancer is suspected.



The Bravo pH Monitoring system is used to measure esophageal pH (acidity) levels in patients who have or are suspected of having gastroesophagela reflux disease (GERD). A small pH capsule is placed in the esophagus and transmits data to a pager-size receiver worn by the patient. For the most part, the patient can maintain a normal diet and activity level during the testing. At the completion of the test, data is downloaded from the receiver and reviewed by your physician to assist in diagnosis and treatment plans. The capsule will naturally detach from the esophagus and pass through the gastrointestinal tract.



Flexible Sigmoidoscopy enables the physician to look at the inside of the large intestine from the rectum through the last part of the colon, called the sigmoid or descending colon. A flexible, fiber-optic tube is used for this procedure, which typically takes about 15 minutes. Physicians may use the procedure to find the cause of diarrhea, abdominal pain, or constipation. They also use it to look for early signs of cancer in the descending colon and rectum. With flexible sigmoidoscopy, the physician can see bleeding, inflammation, abnormal growths, and ulcers in the descending colon and rectum. Flexible sigmoidoscopy is not sufficient to detect polyps or cancer in the ascending or transverse colon (two-thirds of the colon). For the procedure, you will lie on your left side on the examining table. The physician will insert a short, flexible, lighted tube into your rectum and slowly guide it into your colon. The tube is called a sigmoidoscope (sig-MOY-duh-skope). The scope transmits an image of the inside of the rectum and colon, so the physician can carefully examine the lining of these organs. The scope also blows air into these organs, which inflates them and helps the physician see better. If anything unusual is in your rectum or colon, like a polyp or inflamed tissue, the physician can remove a piece of it using instruments inserted into the scope. The physician will send that piece of tissue (biopsy) to the lab for testing. Bleeding and puncture of the colon are possible complications of sigmoidoscopy. However, such complications are uncommon. Flexible sigmoidoscopy takes 10 to 20 minutes. During the procedure, you might feel pressure and slight cramping in your lower abdomen. You will feel better afterward when the air leaves your colon.



To schedule a procedure with CSHP’s Gastroenterology Department, please call 719-272-4400.
Central 1633 Medical Center Point
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80907

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Phone:
Office visits: (719) 630-5555
Procedures:  (719) 635-7740