Give Us A Call

Send Us An Email

General Surgery

Home > General Surgery

General Surgery

Address: 1593 E. Polston Ave.
Post Falls, ID 83854
(Northwest Specialty Hospital)

Phone: 208.262.2300

Fax: 208.262.2390

Administrative Hours:

Sunday: Closed

Monday: 8AM-5PM

Tuesday: 8AM-5PM

Wednesday: 8AM-5PM

Thursday: 8AM-5PM

Friday: 8AM-5PM

Saturday: Closed

Northwest Specialty Hospital

Address: 1593 E. Polston Ave. Post Falls, ID 83854

When the time comes when you need general surgery in North Idaho, the Northwest Specialty Hospital is praised by patients for providing compassionate care. Our board-certified surgeons and professional medical staff put patient care first and put your mind at ease, knowing that your procedure and recovery will be expertly handled. Our team strives to provide a calm and relaxing atmosphere, and is fully equipped to address your needs. Being a specialized surgery center allows us to focus on your health.

Compassionate Care Results In An Excellent Patient Experience
Scheduling an appointment for general surgery may make you anxious, but our care and attention to the details of your procedure and recovery are sure to reassure you. Our staff members will walk through all of the details of your upcoming operation, including pre-operative procedures, what to expect upon arrival, anesthetics, and what will happen following your surgery.

Here are some common General Surgery procedures performed at Northwest Specialty Hospital.

Treatment Process

Evaluation
Initial evaluation begins with the team reviewing personal and family health history while exploring the ways acid reflux is impacting our patient’s quality of life. Every effort is made to provide complete information on the resulting symptoms that the patient is experiencing.

Diagnostics
We utilize the latest imaging technology to view esophageal tissue and evaluate the structure and appearance of the gastrointestinal system. From there we can perform an array of testing, including pH testing, esophageal function testing, and an in-depth cancer assessment to help formulate an individualized treatment plan.

Treatment – Non-Surgical
Sometimes things as simple as lifestyle alterations, medications, and other changes can greatly impact the severity of acid reflux symptoms. Our staff works with non-surgical patients to implement these treatment paths.

Treatment – Surgical
To assess a person’s candidacy for anti-reflux surgical treatment, an evaluation with routine diagnostic tests will be required. These may include an upper endoscopy, high resolution esophageal manometry and impedance, and ambulatory pH testing. Additionally, some patients may require a barium swallow and/or gastric emptying study. Combined, these studies help your physician understand the anatomy and function of the upper digestive tract and will determine if surgery can be safely performed with an expected benefit to the patient. The surgical approach is specifically tailored to each patient based on results of these diagnostic procedures.

Providers

John Pennings, MD, FACS, FAFS, FASMBS

General Surgery, Bariatrics, Endoscopist

Dr. John Pennings received his MD degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School, which was followed by a general surgery residency at Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, an institution noted for excellence in trauma and critical care. He went on to complete a fellowship in advanced laparoscopic surgery and endoscopy at Oregon Health Sciences University. He was one of the first eight fellows in the nation to complete this highly specialized training.

During this training, Dr. Pennings helped to develop new surgical techniques for esophageal, gastric and colon surgery, and was responsible for educating other surgeons in these new, minimally invasive surgical techniques. Dr. Pennings has also pursued advanced training in bariatric (weight loss) surgical techniques, surgical and endoscopic management of reflux disease, Barrett’s esophagus and non-surgical management of hemorrhoids.

In his twenty year career as a community general surgeon, he founded Minimally Invasive Surgery Northwest, Surgical Bariatrics Northwest, Optifit, and currently is the founder and director of The Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery.

Dr. Pennings has served in leadership roles as chairman of the department of surgery at Kootenai Medical Center and as chairman of the board of directors at Northwest Specialty Hospital. As part of his involvement at Northwest Specialty Hospital, he oversaw the development of a comprehensive bariatric surgery program and was awarded Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery status by the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. He is board certified by the American College of Surgeons, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a fellow of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons, and an active member of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons. He is committed to surgical excellence and compassionate patient care.

Dr. Pennings is trained in the entire spectrum of benign and malignant digestive diseases. He has completed accredited fellowship training programs. Fellowship training is beyond what is required in standard residency training and is the highest level of surgical training attainable. Dr. Pennings has completed this rigorous training in order to become the highest level expert in the medical and surgical aspects of gastrointestinal diseases.

Medical School: University of Minnesota

Residency: Emanuel Medical Center

Fellowship: Oregon Health Sciences University

Certifications: American Board of Surgery

Memberships: Idaho Medical Association, American College of Surgeons, Idaho Chapter American College of Surgeons, Kootenai-Benewah Medical Society, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons, Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons

Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery

750 North Syringa Street, Suite 205
Post Falls, Idaho 83854

Phone: (208) 262-0945
Fax: (208) 415-0150

Derek Dirks, MD

General Surgery, Bariatrics, Endoscopist

Dr. Dirks grew up in Coeur d’Alene, ID. He is a graduate of the University of Idaho in Moscow, ID with a BS in Biology and a minor in Spanish. He attended medical school at the University of Iowa Roy J. & Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City, IA. He completed the University of South Dakota general surgery residency program in Sioux Falls, SD. He finished his training with a fellowship in bariatric surgery at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, Oregon. During his fellowship he was trained in bariatric surgery with the Legacy Weight and Diabetes Institute and advanced foregut and colorectal surgery with The Oregon Clinic.

Dr. Dirks is board certified in general surgery by the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Dirks resides in Coeur d’Alene, ID with his wife and four daughters. He enjoys skiing in the winter and spending time hiking, running, and time on the water in the summer.

Medical School: University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine

Residency: University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine

Fellowship: Legacy Good Samaritan

Memberships:

Oregon State Medical License

Certifications: American Board of Surgery
ATLS Instructor Certification
FLS Certification
FES Certification
ACLS Certification
BLS Certification

Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery

750 N. Syringa St., Suite 205
Post Falls, ID 83854

Phone: (208) 262-0945
Fax: (208) 415-0150

Cory Richardson, MD, FACS, FAFS, FASMBS

General Surgery, Bariatrics, Endoscopist

Dr. Richardson grew up in Mammoth Lakes, CA. He attended the University of Nevada, Reno where he was a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Alpine Ski Team. He completed medical school and General Surgery Residency at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. He then went on to complete an advanced surgical fellowship at the Minnesota Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery, the only fellowship program in the United States or Canada accredited in Advanced Gastrointestinal/Minimally Invasive/Bariatric Surgery and Flexible Endoscopy.

Dr. Richardson is trained in the entire spectrum of benign and malignant digestive diseases. He has completed accredited fellowship training programs. Fellowship training is beyond what is required in standard residency training and is the highest level of surgical training attainable. Dr. Richardson has completed this rigorous training in order to become the highest level expert in the medical and surgical aspects of gastrointestinal diseases.

Medical School: University of Nevada School of Medicine

Internship: University of Nevada School of Medicine

Residency: University of Nevada School of Medicine

Fellowship: Minnesota Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery

Certification: American Board of Surgery

Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery

750 North Syringa Street, Suite 205
Post Falls, Idaho 83854

Phone: (208) 262-0945
Fax: (208) 415-0150

Antoine Sarkis, MD

General Surgery, Breast Surgery, Endoscopy

Dr. Sarkis has been in practice in North Idaho since 1997. He has a special interest in the management of benign and malignant diseases of the breast and is a member of the American Society of Breast Surgeons. Dr. Sarkis performs endoscopy and a variety of minimally invasive, as well as more traditional surgical techniques, to diagnose and manage diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Dr. Sarkis received his medical education at Saint Joseph University School of Medicine in Lebanon. He completed his surgical training at Saint Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center of New York and at New York Medical College. He is board certified by the American College of Surgeons. He joined Minimally Invasive Surgery in 2001 to serve patients seeking state-of-the-art diagnosis and management of diseases of the breast and gastrointestinal tract. He offers minimally invasive, as well as more traditional surgical interventions for a variety of disease states.

Education: St. Joseph University School of Medicine

Medical School: St. Joseph University School of Medicine

Residency: St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center of New York

Memberships: American Society of Breast Surgeons

Minimally Invasive Surgery

750 N Syringa St #103
Post Falls, ID 83854

Phone: (208) 415-0151
Fax: (208) 777-1591

Brian Kazmierski, PA-C

General Surgery, Bariatrics

Brian E. Kazmierski, PA-C graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science from the University of Washington School of Medicine. He obtained his Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies with a focus on General Surgery from the University of Nebraska Medical College in 2001. He has been with Surgical Bariatrics since September 2001 and continues to provide excellent care for each of our patients.

Medical School: The University of Nebraska Medical College

Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery

750 N. Syringa St., Suite 205
Post Falls, ID 83854

Phone: (208) 262-0945
Fax: (208) 415-0150

Jonathan Saxe, PA-C, DSc

General Surgery, Bariatrics

Jonathan L. Saxe, PA-C, DSc, graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Illinois. He then received a commission in the U.S. Army where he served as a military police officer before attending the Interservice Physician Assistant Program, earning him a Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  He later went on to complete a general surgery fellowship at Brooke Army Medical Center in Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, and was awarded a Doctorate of Clinical Science with a focus in General Surgery from Baylor University.  He joined the surgical team at Northwest Specialty Hospital in 2019 after retiring from 20 years of active duty service.

Medical School: University of Nebraska Medical Center

Fellowship: General Surgery – Brooke Army Medical Center

Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery

750 North Syringa Street, Suite 205
Post Falls, Idaho 83854

Phone: (208) 262-0945
Fax: (208) 415-0150

Amanda Simpson, PA-C

General Surgery, Bariatrics

Amanda K. Simpson, PA-C, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology from Biola University in La Mirada, CA. She then went on to complete her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at Pacific University in Hillsboro, OR, and is also about to earn a Doctorate of Medical Science from Pacific University with a focus in healthcare improvement. She rotated with the team at Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery during her clinical training as a physician assistant, and was thrilled to be added as a member of the team in 2021.

Medical School: Pacific University

Certifications:
BLS

ACLS
PALS

Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery

750 North Syringa Street, Suite 205
Post Falls, Idaho 83854

Phone: (208) 262-0945
Fax: (208) 415-0150

Mikal Burley, PA-C

General Surgery

Mikal Burley, PA-C graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Vermont. He obtained his Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies with a focus on General Surgery from Oregon Health and Science Univesity School of Medicine in 2013 and currently practices at Minimally Invasive Surgery Northwest.

Education University of Vermont – Burlington, VT

Medical School Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine – Portland, OR

Memberships National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

Minimally Invasive Surgery

750 N Syringa St #103
Post Falls, ID 83854

Phone: (208) 415-0151
Fax: (208) 777-1591

Skip to content