Meet Dr. Spanier-Stiasny

As told by Jennifer A. Spanier-Stiasny, D.O.


Meet Dr. Spanier Stiasny

We sat down with Jennifer A. Spanier-Stiasny, D.O., a gastroenterologist with Swedish Medical Group, to learn more about her practice.

What is Gastroenterology? 

Top Quotation MarksI know that many people think of us gastroenterologists as your screening/colonoscopy go-to, and yes we do that; however, we actually take care of a lot of different things, including digestive symptoms, stomach pain, significant heartburn and reflux.

One thing that is unique about coming to me is that I can provide continuity of care from A to Z. Whether you are just having minor digestive symptoms or need advanced procedures like an ERCP or an endoscopic ultrasound, you'll have the benefit of being with me from the beginning.  . 

Who Needs a Colonoscopy?

Everybody over 50 should get a colonoscopy. Over one in four people over 50 have polyps, which are little growths in the colon. And some of these polyps can have cancerous tendencies. 

What's unique to doing a colonoscopy is that not only is it diagnostic, but we can also do something about it. If I see a polyp, it's my intention to remove them. 

We are seeing more younger people without family histories being diagnosed with colon cancer. Some signs that could make someone undergo a colonoscopy sooner than later could include seeing blood with your bowel movement, weight loss, abdominal pain or changes in your bowels.
Something that is often told to me is, "Oh, I don't have any symptoms. I feel fine." You can feel fine and have colon cancer, so I highly recommend doing that screening colonoscopy.

Advancements to Colonoscopies

I understand that the thought of undergoing a colonoscopy can seem a bit concerning. Having said that, we make this as painless as possible. 

We use CO2 to inflate the walls of the colon so that we can better see if there are any polyps. The CO2 gets reabsorbed, so when you're done with your procedure you no longer have that significant bloating experience. We also have Fuji scopes with amazing optics that allows us to better see the lesions and/or resect the area with good margins. Between those two, it's our goal to increase our detection rate. 

What most people tell me afterwards is that the part that's the least desirable is doing the bowel prep. We offer some options that are more palatable including various flavors and lower volume preps. So really the only unpleasant portion of this all is perhaps that you might have to spend a little bit more time than desired in your bathroom that night.

Gluten-Free Diets

I know that there is much discussion on the whole topic of being gluten-free. It is not uncommon that people experiencing symptoms such as bloating and associated discomfort may perhaps feel better after eliminating gluten. 

After undergoing a workout we often find that many people just experience a sensitivity to gluten, but sometimes there's a little more to it than that. Those that have celiac sprue have to have a strict elimination of gluten. 

Unfortunately, a gluten-free diet is not necessarily a healthier diet. Often times what the gluten is substituted with may not be a healthier option. So I would like to stress that those who are thinking about gluten-free strictly because they think it's the healthy thing to do and not because their having any symptoms may want to think twice about that.

Spanier -Stiasny, Jennifer
Jennifer A. Spanier-Stiasny, D.O., is a board-certified gastroenterologist with Swedish Medical Group. Her clinical interests include endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, endoscopic ultrasound, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). She has more than 13 years of experience. 

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Spanier-Stiasny, call 773-907-3038.


By David Modica | Published April 12, 2018
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