Rocky Mountains Colorado

Conditions and Procedures

Dr. Rifenberry and Dr. Lundy
Dr. James Rifenberry, left, and Dr. David Lundy, right

Acute Appendicitis

The appendix is a small hollow organ that is attached to the beginning of the colon. It is generally located in the right lower portion of your abdomen. If the appendix becomes clogged it can swell and eventually become infected. This is called acute appendicitis. Generally this will begin with vague abdominal pain, nausea and occasionally diarrhea. Most people will have a poor appetite. Over the course of hours or days the pain will intensify and move to the right lower abdomen. Fever and worsening nausea may occur. Read more »

Colon Disorders

The colon is the lower part of your intestine. It is also called the large intestine. Its main function is absorbing water and electrolytes so that your stool will be solid.

Several disorders commonly occur in the colon.  Symptoms of colon disorders may include abdominal pain, bleeding from your rectum/anus, change in bowel function (diarrhea or constipation), change in the size/shape/color of your stool and bloating.  However, many colon disorders may not have symptoms.  We highly recommend talking to your doctor about colonoscopy. Read more »

Gallbladder Disorders

The gallbladder is an organ that stores bile. Bile is a substance made by the liver that helps us digest food in the intestine. Several types of gallbladder disorders are common and cause a variety of issues. Read more »

Hemorrhoids and Anal Fissures

Hemorrhoids are cushions just inside and outside the anus. They have many small blood vessels which usually don't cause problems. However sometimes blood clots form and can cause pain. The pain is usually worse with prolonged sitting and bowel movements. Hemorrhoids also often cause bleeding with bowel movements. This is most often painless, but may cause discomfort. Both constipation and diarrhea may cause problems with hemorrhoids. They are often problematic during pregnancy as well. Read more »


Hernias are basically holes or defects in the abdominal wall.  Some hernias are present from birth and some develop over time due to wear and tear of the abdominal wall.  The defects allow for the passage of tissue or organs into other spaces.  This can cause symptoms ranging from mild discomfort to pain to emergent intestinal obstruction or loss of blood flow. Unfortunately, hernias do not heal themselves or get smaller. They grow over time and can become progressively problematic. Although some people can live years with hernias, a physician should evaluate your hernia to help you make an informed decision regarding possible repair. Read more »

Lumps and Bumps

Many patients develop masses or lumps under or on their skin.  These can occur in any location on your body.  Often patients choose to watch these and don’t pursue removal.  Many times patients have been told these are cysts or benign fatty tumors called lipomas.  This is generally true; however, it should be stated that no one can tell you for certain what a mass is without having it removed or biopsied. Read more »

Reflux and Hiatal Hernia

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a condition in which stomach acids flows upward into the esophagus. The esophagus does not have the protective lining of the stomach and can be burned by the acid. This causes symptoms ranging from mild indigestion to severe chest and abdominal pain. Long term exposure of the esophagus to stomach acid can cause scarring, strictures and even pre-cancerous lesions called "Barrett's Esophagus." Read more »

Thyroid and Parathyroid

The thyroid is an important gland located in the front of your neck. The thyroid produces hormones which control many functions such as growth of tissues, metabolism and calcium levels. Some people have too little or too much thyroid hormone which can cause many different symptoms such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, hair loss, weight loss/gain and intolerance to cold or hot temperature. Read more »