Submitted by Mississippi Valley Endoscopy Center
Our overall wellbeing is greatly affected by how well our digestive system functions. Since 70 percent of our body’s immune system dwells in the digestive system, it is important to know and trust a doctor whose medical specialty is devoted to the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders of the digestive system.
Dr. Samyuktha Ramavaram, along with her fellow physicians at the Gastrointestinal Clinic of the Quad Cities (GICQC), is dedicated to helping Quad Cities residents with their digestive health care needs. As a full-service Gastroenterology practice, GICQC physicians are able to offer their patients many treatment options for a variety of digestive disease and disorders at Mississippi Valley Endoscopy Center in Davenport.
Along with more general gastrointestinal disorders and symptoms that require either an upper endoscopy or colonoscopy, the clinic also offers diagnosis and treatment options for more complex diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac disease, and various esophageal, gastric, and pancreatic disorders.
As the only facility in the Iowa Quad Cities to offer Endoscopic Ultrasound for the staging and diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, Mississippi Valley Endoscopy Center — along with the physicians of GICQC — have the specialized training that is needed to perform this procedure, allowing a more precise diagnosis for the patient.
We recently visited with Dr. Ramavaram to learn more about the field of gastroenterology and what her expertise and fellowship training brings to the community.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you most recently practicing medicine?
I was most recently in Little Rock, Arkansas, where I completed my three-year fellowship at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. During my fellowship, my training was focused solely on the diagnoses and treatment of digestive diseases and disorders. This specialized training allows a physician to narrow their focus and learn specifically about the symptoms and treatment options for the GI system, bringing a more detailed approach to the community.
The community here has been so welcoming already, and I am very excited about our future here!
Q: Physicians in your field emphasize proactive digestive health. What’s your take on the importance of colonoscopies?
My take is this: it’s absolutely important to be proactive about your digestive health! Colonoscopies, in particular, play an important role. Almost all colorectal cancers begin as precancerous polyps — or abnormal growths — in the colon or rectum. These polyps can be present in the colon for years before invasive cancer develops. Screening colonoscopies find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer, which is why we cannot stress to the public enough to start getting screened at the age of 50, or 40, if you have a family history of colon cancer or colon polyps.
As physicians, we need to pay attention to the patient and what is worrying them. I like to take the time to describe the procedure and how easy it can be. Patients are typically resting at home comfortably within hours.
The Mississippi Valley Endoscopy Center in Davenport is where I’ll be performing many colonoscopies. The Endoscopy Center has a stellar reputation in the medical community. From my short time here, I can see why! The staff is extremely professional. They are also caring. I look forward to my relationship with the experts at the Mississippi Valley Endoscopy Center.
Q: Do the needs of men and women differ when it comes to digestive health?
I’m passionate about helping all patients — men and women alike. It’s important, though, to recognize that while the digestive tracks of men and women are essentially the same, issues related to hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, and childbirth affect a woman’s digestive health in a unique way. Helping women with these challenges will be one of my areas of interest.
There are many gastrointestinal conditions that are more prevalent in women — especially as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. For example, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is two to three times more prevalent in women than in men.
Many women feel more comfortable talking about these types of conditions or having procedures performed by another woman. And, as I stated before, it comes back to really paying attention. Active listening and appreciation for what has brought the patient to the clinic is invaluable.
I try to take the time to understand the health issue of all my patients — men and women of all ages — to develop a diagnostic plan that is successful.
Q: When will you start seeing patients?
I am excited to start seeing patients on September 5th at our two Quad Cities locations: 5041 Utica Ridge Road in Davenport and 4340 7th Street in Moline.
I am really looking forward to becoming an integral part of the practice alongside long-standing physicians, Dr. Chintalapani, Dr. Gowda, and Dr. Chandrahasegowda (Shashi). It is a great group of physicians that have been a part of this community for many years and I am proud to be a part of such a strong group of gastroenterologists.
To learn more about Dr. Ramavaram and the Gastrointestinal Clinic of the Quad Cities, visit Facebook at facebook.com/gicqc or call 563-359-9696 or 309-277-9220.
To learn more about the Mississippi Valley Endoscopy Center, go to www.mvhealth.net and visit Facebook at facebook.com/MississippiValleySurgeryCenter.