Sanford Opens New Center For Digestive Health

The center meets the increased demand for procedures like colonoscopies

FARGO, N.D. — Sanford Health opens its new Center for Digestive Health to treat patients with gastrointestinal issues.

The center, which is in the former Sanford Same Day Surgery building, celebrated its opening with a ribbon-cutting.

It will meet the increased demand for procedures like colonoscopies.

“Colonoscopy screening is one of the big things that we celebrate coming up here in March as well for our colon cancer awareness. It is a way to be able to diagnose colon cancer early. Screening is just a way to do that,” Theresa Larson, director at the Center for Digestive Health, said.

Patients can be seen for anything from acid reflux to inflammatory bowel disease to constipation. Four new doctors have also been added to the team.

“A lot of people don’t do their colonoscopies because they are nervous about the procedure. We always say the prep is probably the worst part. We do sedation for patients for the procedure so many of them don’t remember the procedure,” Larson said.

The American Cancer Society has lowered the starting age for colonoscopies to 45.

Doctors at Sanford say they want to see at least 80 percent of patients screened for colon cancer. The rate of obesity across the country increases the risk of getting colon cancer.

“That’s one of the theories why we’re seeing younger people with colon cancer is because of the increasing incidents in the United States. The same things for everything in life, stay thin, eating healthy, avoiding too many carbohydrates,” Ross Meidinger, gastroenterologist at Sanford, said.

One thing you can do to keep your gut healthy is make sure you’re eating enough fiber.

“In general we’re supposed to have 25–35 grams of fiber a day. Most Americans get 10–15. Fruits and vegetables and fiber are very important,” Meidinger said.

Sanford’s Same Day Surgery has moved to Sanford Medical Center Broadway.

Categories: Health, Local News, North Dakota News