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Tackle That Gastro Complaint, Improve Your Quality of Life

Health Hub
Author name: Lee Health

Lee Physician Group's gastroenterology services keep expanding and improving. Here's what they can do for you.


Dr. Khalid Alam spent 30 years practicing his medical specialty in the cold-weather climates of Michigan and Wisconsin before thawing out the past three years in Southwest Florida as a board-certified gastroenterologist with Lee Physician Group.

Now he can play tennis, his favorite sport, year-round outdoors. But that’s not why Dr. Alam moved his family to Southwest Florida.

“What really attracted me here was Lee Health Physician Group’s commitment to patient-centered treatment,” Dr. Alam says. “I wanted to practice in an organization whose mission and values mirrored my own. That was important to me.”

Advancements in Treating Gastro Patients

There was also the opportunity to join Lee Health’s gastroenterology department and help expand its leading-edge medical and surgical treatments. Dr. Alam says he couldn’t pass up that challenge.

“So many people suffer from digestive issues caused by illness, injury, or long-term habits that may be unhealthy. But whatever their cause, digestive problems can profoundly affect our health and quality of life,” Dr. Alam says.

“We’re expanding our team and clinical expertise. It’s rewarding and exciting to see whether it’s seeing a doctor about frequent heartburn, or you’ve been diagnosed with serious conditions such as Crohn’s disease or pancreatic cancer, our specialists can help you.”

A resident of Fort Myers, where he shares a home with his wife and four children, Dr. Alam calls our region a “melting pot” of people from all over the country. It’s a notable difference between his patients in the Midwest, most of whom he says come from the area.

“There’s a bigger mix of people in Southwest Florida,” Dr. Alam says. “Also, the age of my patient population tends to be older, which is one reason why I came to Lee Health, to bring awareness to our community about the importance of screening tests for colorectal cancer.”

Screening You Need to Know About

According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, adults age 50 to 75 should be screened for colorectal cancer.

“Regular screening, beginning at age 50, is the key to preventing colorectal cancer,” Dr. Alam says about the recommendation. “A screening colonoscopy can find pre-cancerous polyps, which can be removed before they have a chance to grow larger and become cancerous.”

That’s where Dr. Alam’s skills come into play.

His decades of practice and specialty training enables him to achieve an exceptional “adenomatous polyp detection rate,” or the ability to find abnormal polyps during a screening colonoscopy.

The adenomatous detection rate, or ADR as it’s medically called, is key measurement in the prevention of colorectal cancer.

Studies show that physicians with high ADRs are most successful in detecting precancerous adenomas in the colon and helping patients avoid colorectal cancer,” Dr. Alam notes.

“Colonoscopy screening has helped us decrease mortality from colon cancer significantly in the past 20 years. At Lee Health Gastroenterology, that’s the thrust of our practice. We want to keep our patients healthy so they can continue their active Florida lifestyles.”

This year the gastroenterology department has added two more gastroenterologists as it continues to expand its specialty treatment areas that offer the latest in patient-care diagnostic and surgical services.

Dr. Alam says, “For example, years ago patients who required surgery to remove abnormal or early-stage cancer and precancerous growths from the digest tract lining would have to stay overnight in a hospital.

"But with our expertise, we can perform EMR, or endoscopic mucosal resection. Now, we’re able to perform the procedure on an outpatient basis and the patient can recover in the comfort and privacy of their own home.”

It’s just another example of who the specialists at Lee Health gastroenterology department work together to improve your health through medication, surgical procedures, and education on lifestyle changes.