Endoscopy & Digestive Health in Caldwell, Idaho

The center for digestive health at West Valley Medical Center is staffed with providers who are highly trained in diagnosing and treating gastrointestinal (GI) issues. Digestive treatments in Caldwell, Idaho may include lifestyle changes, medication or surgery. However, the first step in restoring your digestive health is to let our digestive health specialists assess your symptoms.

If you are experiencing persistent stomach pain or other gastrointestinal symptoms, please call (208) 455-3981 to make an appointment with our physicians.

Almost everyone faces digestive health issues on occasion. Problems, such as gas, bloating, heartburn, diarrhea and constipation, can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. These symptoms are typically not serious and often go away on their own. However, when common digestive ailments persist and begin to affect your everyday life, they could be an indicator of more digestive health problems. Our doctors in Caldwell can help.

If you are experiencing prolonged, uncontrollable vomiting or diarrhea, severe abdominal pain or a high fever that doesn't improve with medication, please seek emergency medical treatment as soon as possible.

Digestive health conditions we treat

Here are a few of the common GI disorders that our gastroenterologists diagnose and treat:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Gallstones and other gallbladder disorders
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Diverticulitis
  • Celiac disease

Colon Cancer Prevention

Are you older than 45 years old? Are you younger than 45, but have a family history of polyps or colon cancer? Then it may be time for a colonoscopy—the only screening test that can detect colon cancer early. When diagnosed early, colon cancer is 90 percent preventable.

At West Valley Medical Center, we make colonoscopy screenings convenient for you. Our physicians and staff will do everything to respect your privacy and provide personalized attention while you are with us. Your colonoscopy should take less than 30 minutes, but you can plan to be in our facility for about two hours.

You will be given mild sedation or anesthesia for your comfort. Typically, you can return to normal activity and work the next day.

Here are a few colon cancer facts you should know:

  • Almost 80 percent of colon cancer cases have no family history, and even more cases have no symptoms at all.
  • Colon cancer occurs in women just as often as it does men.
  • Each year, about 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colon cancer with more than 50,000 deaths.
  • Most insurance plans (including Medicare) cover screening colonoscopies.

To schedule a colonoscopy, please call (208) 453-4206.

Acid reflux and GERD

Gastroesophageal reflux, also known as acid reflux, occurs when the stomach contents reflux, or back up, into the esophagus and/or mouth. Reflux is a normal process—most episodes are brief and do not cause bothersome symptoms or complications.

People with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) experience symptoms because of reflux, such as pain while swallowing or heartburn. Both heartburn and GERD can lead to more serious conditions if left untreated. Heartburn may lead to acid reflux, a hiatal hernia or GERD, and GERD may affect the vocal cords and lungs and cause permanent damage to the esophagus.

Often, heartburn can be alleviated with eating low acidic foods, taking over-the-counter medications or eating at least a couple of hours before sleeping. GERD, on the other hand, may require prescription medication or reflux surgery to eliminate symptoms.

So, how do you know if you have heartburn or a more serious condition, such as GERD? Below are symptoms of both conditions.

Heartburn symptoms

  • Burning feeling in the chest area or throat
  • Chest pain, especially after eating, bending over or lying down
  • Hot, sour, acidic or salty-tasting fluid at the back of the throat

GERD symptoms

  • Frequent burping
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Sore throat
  • Laryngitis or a hoarse voice
  • Chronic dry coughing
  • Worsened asthma
  • Bad breath
  • Ear aches
  • Sudden increase in saliva
  • The feeling of a lump in the throat
  • Weight loss

Treating acid reflux

Our physicians in Caldwell, Idaho use tests, such as esophageal manometry or ambulatory 24-hyour pH-Z monitoring, to diagnose acid reflux. When dietary and lifestyle changes, nonprescription medications and prescription medications do not control acid reflux, surgical treatment is available:

  • Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication is the most common procedure. It involves wrapping the upper part of the stomach around the lower end of the esophagus.
  • Transoral incisionless fundoplication re-creates an anti-reflux valve and tightens the lower esophageal sphincter.