Heartburn, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome – all health concerns that make us squirm uncomfortably. But these conditions, which patients sometimes needlessly suffer through, can be conveniently diagnosed and treated in a new office setting in Lee’s Summit.
Gastroenterologist Marc Taormina, MD, is already a familiar face to Lee’s Summit residents. He began his career in the community in 1985 at the old Lee’s Summit Hospital campus. His career evolved as he built his practice in its current location on Ralph Powell Road in 2003. In January 2018, he transitioned from being part of a larger group to open his own independent practice – Midwest GI health – in the same location.
“I’m excited to enter into this new phase of my career, providing more outpatient therapies for patients,” Taormina says. “We’re looking to provide care to the community for a long time.”
In Taormina’s new practice environment, the focus is to provide high-quality, rapid outpatient evaluation of GI problems. He is joined part-time by gastroenterologist Richard Lozoff, MD, as well as two nurse practitioners who specialize in inflammatory bowel disorders and colorectal issues.
When procedural follow-up is needed after a clinical diagnosis, Taormina operates at the Midwest Physicians Surgery Center where he is also the medical director. The surgery center is the only endoscopy unit in Western Missouri accredited by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE).
The surgery center offers patients the ability to have their procedure, recover and return home the same day. Outpatient procedures are more cost-effective, convenient and help minimize patients’ risk for hospital acquired infections, Taormina notes.
Some of the most common conditions Taromina treats include irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), Chron’s, colitis, hemorrhoids and heartburn. He offers minimally-invasive surgical and non-surgical treatment options as well as complementary therapies to help improve patients’ quality of life.
For example, many patients are concerned about the long-term side effects of taking omeprazole for heartburn. A new minimally invasive surgical procedure, the Linx Reflux Management System, provides relief and allows patients to discontinue their medication, Taormina says.
For patients with GI issues such as food sensitivities and bloating, the office has the ability to diagnose SIBO (small bacterial gut overgrowth), which is associated with many issues potentially related to irritable bowel syndrome. Once a condition is diagnosed, Taormina works to address the issue with complementary therapies and integrated medicine.
“There’s a lot of evidence that dietary manipulation, supplements and behavior modification in the form of stress reduction can have an impact on GI health,” he says.
Even with seemingly benign conditions, it’s important to assume nothing when it comes to GI health.
With heartburn, an endoscopic evaluation is important, because it can help determine the true cause of the burning sensation that can radiate through the chest and into the throat and neck. Many times, what people are treating as heartburn can be precancerous lesions on the esophagus, Taormina says.
And the same holds true for colon cancer screening. While people with an average risk of colon cancer should begin screening at age 50, signs such as rectal bleeding, change in bowel habits, bloating and weight loss are all red flags.
For more information about common GI conditions or to make an appointment, visit midwestgihealth.com or call (816) 836-2200.