Who needs to see a gastroenterologist?
The American Cancer Society now recommends that everyone should see a gastroenterologist to be screened for colorectal cancer beginning at age 45 – sooner if you have a personal or family history of colon polyps or colorectal cancer. If you have general digestive challenges, your primary care doctor may suggest consulting a gastroenterologist.
What conditions do gastroenterologists treat?
Gastroenterologists treat people with the following conditions and complaints:
- Abdominal pain and discomfort
- Barrett's esophagus
- Bleeding in the digestive tract
- Cancer, including colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, stomach/gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer or liver cancer
- Celiac disease
- Digestive upset (including stomach ache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea)
- Diverticular disease and other diseases of the colon, such as polyps, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis or Crohn's disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Hiatal hernias
- Inflammation in the digestive tract (called gastritis)
- Lactose intolerance
- Liver disease, including hepatitis, jaundice and cirrhosis
- Swallowing problems
- Unexplained weight loss
Additional GI Services Offered
Hemorrhoids, cushions of tissue containing swollen blood vessels, located in the lower rectum or anus, are a common complaint. Causes include constipation, pregnancy, childbirth, obesity, heavy lifting, long periods of sitting, or diarrhea. We treat both internal and external hemorrhoids, surgically and non-surgically. We are specialists in the CRH O’Regan banding system, a painless and non-invasive method for treating external hemorrhoids.
Upper GI Gastroscopy
During an upper endoscopy, an endoscope is passed through the mouth and throat and into the esophagus. This allows the gastroenterologist to view the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine.
Manometry and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Testing
The GI Center of Excellence has the latest manometry and pH testing equipment to enhance diagnosis of acid reflux disease. Manometry records pressure and motility of the swallowing process using tiny sensors within a catheter, a small, thin tube, all in just 30 minutes. With this technology, we evaluate and assess:
- Persistent gastric reflux
- Difficulty swallowing
- Non-cardiac chest pain
- The pressure and motor functions of the esophagus and the lower esophageal sphincter
Cases in which patients are unresponsive to standard PPI management
We also offer 24 hr. PH impedance and Bravo testing to help further evaluate:
- Negative gastroscopy results
- Those who do not respond to acid reflux medications
- Cough, belch, or voice disorders
- Regurgitation and pediatric reflux
Our Pelvic Floor Physiology Program evaluates pelvic floor dysfunction, including incontinence. Certain testing methods may help those with:
Barrett's Esophagus and Esophageal Cancer
If your doctor has recommended that you have an endoscopy to screen for Barrett’s Esophagus, you’ll then have an evaluation by a gastroenterologist to determine if you’re at risk for progression to esophageal cancer. Risk factors include:
- Poorly controlled reflux
- Family history of esophageal adenocarcinoma
Our state-of-the-art HALO System from Covidien provides advanced technology for treating those diagnosed with Barrett’s Esophagus. The system removes the affected area during a short endoscopic procedure. The GI Center of Excellence is the only outpatient facility in the region offering this treatment option.
The HALO treatment offers a cure rate of between 80 and 90 percent. Patients generally require four treatments, and will likely remain Barrett’s-free up to five years post-treatment. Those with recurrent Barrett’s can be treated again, and 99 percent will remain Barrett’s-free.