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Michael Kelfer, MD - Gastroenterology

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“Whether prescribing medicine or ordering tests, it’s comforting to know that I have a great organization behind me.”

Dr. Michael Kelfer says that he can tell from the moment he walks in the room whether a patient is anxious or not. “It usually doesn’t take long to notice. That’s why I work hard to make all my patients feel comfortable. We try to keep the mood very casual here and I think patients appreciate that. I’ve always believed that people are easier to treat when they’re more at ease.”

Dr. Kelfer chose to be a gastroenterologist because he enjoys doing procedures so much. “Gastroenterology is probably one of the most procedural orientated non-surgical specialties,” he explains. “We’re not surgeons, but we get to do a lot of very interesting procedures. Gastroenterologists utilize a variety of instruments that allow us to take samples of tissue, remove polyps, place stents and many other procedures.”

One of the biggest problems gastroenterologists such as Dr. Kelfer treat is gastric reflux disease, also known as GERD. “This is a very common problem that can be treated with either medication or surgery. There are a lot of effective medications out there today to help with reflux. Some work better than others, so it is nice to have so many options out there to choose from. In cases where a patient hasn’t responded to medication, we consider surgical options.”

The most frequent procedure that Dr. Kelfer performs is a colonoscopy. “I do about 80 colonoscopies a week. Most of my referrals these days are for screenings, to look for polyps that could be precancerous. The national guidelines say to begin at age 50 for a colonoscopy screening, unless there are certain risk factors that would require you to start earlier. Average risk patients without a history of polyps in the colon only need a colonoscopy every ten years. Those who have a family history of colon cancer should discuss testing with their doctor. In some cases, colon cancer can be caused by genetic factors, so early testing for these patients is important.”

Dr. Kelfer enjoys working for an organization that is so dedicated to providing great care. “Whether prescribing medicine or ordering tests, it’s comforting to know that I have a great organization behind me. From consulting with other physicians to giving me great access to the latest technology, Reliant Medical Group makes it very easy to practice here – which is why I enjoy it so much.”

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