Gastroenterologists Eugene OR | Springfield OR

The Oregon Medical Group specialist physicians in gastroenterology are interested in your stomach and gastrointestinal problems. Stomach upsets, bowel problems and other irritations of the digestive system are their key interest - that's what makes them particularly qualified to talk with you about your borborygmus (that's the technical word for those rumblings in your belly).

Our gastroenterologists are also intent on preventive care that includes regular screening for colon cancer. Colonoscopies are a reliable process for colon cancer screening and we encourage our patients to visit for regular preventive care.

Clinic Locations

Gastroenterology services are available at the following Oregon Medical Group clinic(s):

Maps & Directions

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Patient Education

Colon Cancer and Colon Cancer Screening

Here are some statistics you may find important to know:

  • An estimated 670 people will die from colorectal cancer in Oregon this year alone
  • Nearly 147,000 people in the US will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2009
  • 6% of men and women will develop colorectal cancer in their lifetime
  • 1 in 3 over age 50 will have polyps
  • Colon polyps have no symptoms in most cases
  • Colon cancer often occurs without symptoms until later stages
  • Currently only 50% of Oregonians have had screening

The colon is the part of digestive system where the waste material is stored. The rectum is the end of the colon adjacent to the anus. Together, they form a long, muscular tube called the large intestine (also known as the large bowel). Tumors of the colon and rectum are growths arising from the inner wall of the large intestines.

Colonoscopy is the single best test for colon cancer screening and allows your doctor to look at the inner lining of your large intestine (rectum and colon). The goal is not only to look for colon cancer, but to find and remove polyps at the time of the exam. Removing these polyps is the most effective way to prevent colon cancer.

The National Polyp Study has shown that polyp removal with colonoscopy surveillance program can reduce the risk for colon cancer by up to 90%.

Colon cancer generally does not have symptoms until later stages. Symptoms can include spotty rectal bleeding, a change in bowel habits, vague abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, or laboratory disturbance such as anemia. These symptoms are not specific or reliable, so waiting until they occur before deciding to have a colonoscopy is not recommended. Besides, a late diagnosis can dramatically impact chance for survival.

Please call your primary care provider to schedule your annual physical and discuss a referral for a colonoscopy if you have not yet had one. You may also call our office if you have questions about your initial visit at our Gastroenterology clinic. If you have already had your screening colonoscopy, ask your provider when you should get another one.

Colon prep takes 1 to 2 days, depending on which type of prep your doctor recommends. Some preps may be taken the evening before the test. For many people, the prep for a colonoscopy is more trying than the actual test. Plan to stay home during your prep time since you will need to use the bathroom often. The colon prep causes loose, frequent stools and diarrhea so that your colon will be empty for the test. The colon prep may be uncomfortable and you may feel hungry on the clear liquid diet. If you need to drink a special solution as part of your prep, be sure to have clear fruit juices or soft drinks to drink after the prep because the solution can taste unpleasant.

Additional Patient Education Links

Preparation for Procedures & Exams

Colonoscopy Preparation & Instructions:

Upper Endoscopy Procedure:

Conditions & Treatments

  • Colonoscopy
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Upper Endoscopy

Frequently Asked Questions

What is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?
Reflux means that stomach acid and juices flow from the stomach back up into the tube that leads from the throat to the stomach (esophagus). This causes heartburn. When you have heartburn at least 2 times a week, it is called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.

Eating too much or bending forward after eating sometimes causes heartburn and a sour taste in your mouth. But having heartburn from time to time doesn't mean you have GERD. With GERD, the reflux and heartburn last longer and come more often. If this happens to you, it is important to treat it, because GERD can cause ulcers and damage to the esophagus.

What causes GERD?
Normally when you swallow your food, it travels down the food pipe (esophagus) to a valve that opens to let the food pass into the stomach and then closes. With GERD, the valve doesn't close tightly enough. Stomach acid and juices flow from the stomach and back up (reflux) into the esophagus.
What are the symptoms?
The main symptom of GERD is heartburn. It may feel like a burning, warmth, or pain just behind the breastbone. It is common to have symptoms at night when you are trying to sleep.

If you have pain behind your breastbone, it is important to make sure it is not caused by a problem with your heart. The burning sensation caused by GERD usually occurs after you eat. Pain from the heart usually feels like pressure, heaviness, weight, tightness, squeezing, discomfort, or a dull ache. It occurs most often after you are active.

How is GERD diagnosed?
First, your doctor will do a physical exam and ask you questions about your health. You may or may not need further tests. Your doctor may just treat your symptoms by prescribing medicines that reduce or block stomach acid. These include H2 blockers (for example, Pepcid) or proton pump inhibitors (for example, Prilosec). If your heartburn goes away after you take the medicine, your doctor will likely diagnose GERD.
How is it treated?
For mild symptoms of GERD, you can try over-the-counter medicines. These include antacids (for example, Tums), H2 blockers (for example, Pepcid), or proton pump inhibitors (for example, Prilosec OTC). Changing your diet, losing weight if needed, and making other lifestyle changes can also help. If you still have symptoms after trying lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medicines, talk to your doctor.
How is GERD Diagnosed?
Depending on your symptoms, your gastroenterologist may want to perform a test called an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. This allows your doctor to look at the inner lining of your esophagus, stomach, and the first part of your small intestine (duodenum) through a thin, flexible viewing instrument called an endoscope.
How can you manage GERD?
Many people with GERD have it for the rest of their lives. You may need to take medicine for many years to help control the symptoms. You can also make changes to your lifestyle to help relieve your symptoms of GERD, too. Here are some things to try:

  • Change your eating habits.
    • It's best to eat several small meals instead of two or three large meals.
    • After you eat, wait 2 to 3 hours before you lie down. Late-night snacks aren't a good idea.
    • Chocolate, mint, and alcohol can make GERD worse; they relax the valve between the esophagus and the stomach.
    • Spicy foods, foods that have a lot of acid (like tomatoes and oranges), and coffee can make GERD symptoms worse in some people. If your symptoms are worse after you eat a certain food, you may want to stop eating that food to see if your symptoms get better.
  • Do not smoke or chew tobacco.
  • If you get heartburn at night, raise the head of your bed 6 in (15 cm) to 8 in (20 cm) by putting the frame on blocks or placing a foam wedge under the head of your mattress. (Adding extra pillows does not work.)
  • Do not wear tight clothing around your middle. Lose weight if you need to. Losing just 5 to 10 pounds can help.