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Digestive Health

When you experience heartburn, stomach pain or other digestive discomfort, turn to Avera for an accurate diagnosis and advanced gastrointestinal (GI) care.

Comprehensive Gastrointestinal Care

Rely on Avera for the full spectrum of digestive health services. Whether you’re ready to schedule your colorectal cancer screening or you need attention for a specific digestive condition, you’ll benefit from our multidisciplinary approach known as the Avera Digestive Disease Institute. You receive expert consultation and care from our board-certified gastroenterologists and a wide range of related specialists.

Digestive Disorders & Conditions We Treat

Find skilled care at Avera for conditions that affect your digestive health, including disorders of the:

  • Colon – Clostridium difficile (C. diff), Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, various forms of colitis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), dysmotility
  • Esophagus – Acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD), Barrett’s esophagitis, hiatal hernia, swallowing disorders, esophageal varices
  • Gallbladder and bile duct – Gallstones, acute gallbladder swelling/irritation, gallbladder disease, bile duct diseases/injury/stricture or cancer
  • Liver – Hepatitis, cysts, cirrhosis, cancer, peritonitis, amyloidosis, alcoholic liver disease, autoimmune liver disease, benign lesions, Byler’s disease, fatty liver
  • Pancreas – Pancreatitis (acute, chronic), pancreatic cyst, pseudocyst (IPMN, MCN)
  • Rectum and anus – Abscess, dysplasia, fissures, fistula, stenosis (narrowing), anorectal disease, colorectal endometriosis, fecal incontinence, internal hemorrhoids, pelvic floor dysfunction, inflammation of the lining of the rectum, rectal bleeding or prolapse, rectal ulcer
  • Small bowel – Celiac disease, constipation, diarrhea, dysmotility, gastroenteritis, GI bleeding, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), lactose intolerance, malabsorption, obstructions, perforation, stoma complications, intestinal pseudo-obstruction (Ogilvie’s syndrome), Whipple’s disease, vitamin or mineral deficiency
  • Stomach – Peptic disorders, dyspepsia, digestive gas, enlarged blood vessels (gastric varices), indigestion, heartburn, ulcers and H. pylori, gastritis, malnutrition, upper abdominal pain
  • Tumors of the GI tract – Benign and malignant tumors, Bowen’s and Paget’s disease, stromal tumors, granulomas, polyps, hemangioma, adenoma, focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH)

Visit our online health library to explore digestive disorders in detail. And take our free colon cancer risk assessment to better understand your potential for this preventable disease.

Digestive Health Services & Treatments

Choose Avera for the extensive diagnostic services and skilled treatments that help us evaluate and address your particular situation. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, you may benefit from any or a combination of these options:

  • Laboratory tests – Fecal occult blood test (FOBT), stool culture, blood testing
  • Imaging tests – Barium beefsteak meal, colorectal transit study, computed tomography (CT) scan, lower GI series (barium enema), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), swallowing study, ultrasound, upper GI series (barium swallow), gastric emptying study
  • Endoscopic procedures – Colonoscopy, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD or upper endoscopy), sigmoidoscopy, Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
  • Other procedures, which might include motility or manometry studies, pH monitoring, dietary changes, medications or surgery

Take advantage of our health library to learn more about digestive diagnostic procedures that help us evaluate and treat your condition.

Innovation & Integrated Care

You’ll also benefit from our dedication to innovative digestive care. Each week, a team of physicians from multiple medical specialties meets to review cases, share knowledge, explore treatment options and develop custom treatment plans. That means you get integrated clinical care that incorporates the newest, research-driven treatment options.

Confidential, Compassionate Environment

Conversations about digestive health and gut-related issues can be awkward. When you work with Avera’s Digestive Disease Institute, you’ll appreciate your care team’s efforts to help you feel comfortable at each visit.

Multidisciplinary Digestive Health Team

Enjoy seamless care from specialists who collaborate to provide the best outcome for you. Depending on your digestive condition, your team may include:

  • Gastroenterologist – Treats conditions affecting the digestive tract
  • Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner – Assists with treatment under the guidance of a physician
  • Genetic counselor – Helps you discover and understand your risk for an inherited medical condition
  • Hepatologist – Specializes in caring for the liver, gallbladder and pancreas
  • Oncologist – Specializes in treating cancer
  • Pathologist – Helps your doctor make a diagnosis by interpreting biopsies and lab tests
  • Radiologist – Offers imaging expertise
  • Social worker – Connects you with community resources after an inpatient stay
  • Surgeon (colorectal) – Treats conditions affecting the large intestine
  • Urogynecologist – Diagnoses and treats women’s pelvic floor conditions

Gastrointestinal Nurse Navigator

If you experience a complicated digestive disorder or a gastrointestinal cancer, such as colorectal cancer, you’ll value the additional layer of support and guidance you receive from Avera’s gastrointestinal navigators. Count on Liz O’Neill and April Schnieder, certified nurse practitioners (CNP), to coordinate your care, answer your questions and provide emotional and social support.

Colon Cancer Resources

Learn more about colorectal cancer topics in our health library. If you or a loved one receives a colon cancer diagnosis, check out Be a Survivor for information about colon cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

Contact Us

Learn more about digestive health care at Avera, or make an appointment today.

  • Avera Digestive Disease Institute: 605-322-7797
  • Avera Medical Group Gastroenterology Sioux Falls: 605-332-8630

Colonoscopy Locations

Get In-Depth Coverage on Digestive Health

Delve into digestive diseases and learn more about Avera’s services and specialists. Read Digestive Trac, a bimonthly publication from Avera Digestive Disease Institute.

Heartburn, Diarrhea … Is This Normal?

Find relief for gut-related issues. If you answer “YES” to any of these questions, you may benefit from a consultation with an Avera digestive health specialist. Contact us to take the next step.

  1. Do you experience dull or severe gut pain one or more times per week?
  2. Do you have chronic diarrhea?
  3. Do you have heartburn one or more times per week, especially after eating?
  4. Are your stools frequently hard or difficult to pass?
  5. Have you ever found blood in your stool or on toilet paper?
  6. Is it hard to swallow food, saliva or beverages?
  7. Have you experienced weight loss you couldn’t explain?

Live Better. Live Balanced. Avera.

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