OverviewThere are many conditions that affect the gastrointestinal system, ranging from common to rare or life threatening. Learn about many of these gastroenterology conditions below and the procedures and surgeries used to treat them.
Conditions We Treat
Achalasia is a disorder that occurs when the nerves that connect your mouth and stomach become damaged. This makes it difficult for food and liquid to pass through your stomach, resulting in symptoms that include chest pain, difficulty swallowing and regurgitation. While there isn’t a cure for achalasia, minimally invasive therapies and surgeries can make it more manageable.
An anal fissure is a tear in the lining of your anus. These small cuts are often a result of passing very large or hard stools.
An anal fistula is a small tunnel that forms in your body. It goes from the glands just inside your anus through to the skin near your anus. This painful condition often results from an infection near your anus or rectum. The infection might not have healed properly. Instead, it created a small cavity filled with pus.
Barrett’s esophagus is a common disorder among people with long-term gastroesophageal reflex disease, also known as GERD. This occurs when the usual tissue that lines the esophagus becomes tissue that more closely resembles tissue of the small intestine. A result of repeated exposure to stomach acid, Barrett’s esophagus most commons symptoms are heartburn and chest pain.
A colorectal polyp, also known as colon polyp, is a growth that forms in your colon. This is a part of your large intestine. Some of these growths are harmless. Others can turn into cancer.
Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)
Eosinophilis esophagitis is a chronic immune system disease that occurs when eosinophils, a type of white blood cells, build up in the esophagus. This buildup damages tissue, which often results in difficulty swallowing. Additional symptoms include chest or upper abdominal pain, persistent heartburn and no response to GERD medication.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
If you experience heartburn or acid reflux more than twice a week, you may have GERD. The classic symptom of GERD is burning chest pain that occurs after eating and becomes worse while lying down. This happens when stomach acid or bile flow into the food pipe and irritate the lining. In most cases, GERD can be managed with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medicine. In severe cases, stronger medicine and surgery are available.
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins, also known as piles. They exist either inside or outside around your rectum or anus. Hemorrhoids are one of the most common reasons you may notice bleeding during bowel movements.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth usually occurs as a result of diseases or conditions in the intestines that hinder the body from absorbing proper nutrients. This can lead to vitamin deficiencies and malnutrition, and cause indigestion, abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea or loose stools. Also known as small bowel bacterial overgrowth syndrome, SIBO is best treated with antibiotics, in which routine cycles may be required.
Treatments We Offer
An anoscopy is an examination of the anal canal using a 3-4 inch long tube shaped instrument. An anoscopy is a simple medical procedure that can be completed in the doctor’s office.
A barium enema is an x-ray used to find diseases in the large intestine. Also called a lower gastrointestinal exam, a barium enema is often used to diagnose problems in the colon or rectum. During the exam, the colon is filled with a barium-containing material to provide contrast. Because of the contrast, the intestine and colon can easily be seen on an x-ray. Based on conditions, you may need a single-contrast or air-contrast study, which vary slightly in process.
A barium swallow is a test that helps determine reasons for painful swallowing, abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss or bloodstained vomit. During the test, patients drink a beverage containing barium sulfate, which is a metallic compound that shows up on x-rays. As your doctor tracks the x-ray, the appearance of the compound can help highlight abnormalities in the esophagus and stomach, such as a narrowed esophagus, polyp or tumor.
A colonoscopy is an endoscopic exam, during which a long, flexible tube is inserted into the rectum. The tube allows your doctor to view the inside of the colon, and if needed, remove polyps or abnormal tissue.
A colostomy is a surgery used for an array of gastrointestinal disorders. During a colostomy, a piece of the colon is diverted to an artificial opening in the abdominal wall. The end of the colon is brought through the opening, forming a stoma. After the surgery, the colon and rectum are no longer connected beyond the colostomy, and the anus is no longer the exit for the stool.
When swallowing foods or fluids becomes difficult, it is often because the esophagus has become blocked or narrowed. Esophageal dilation is a common endoscopic procedure that stretches or opens a blocked portion of the esophagus. Doctors can use various techniques for this procedure, based off where the esophagus is blocked.
Esophageal manometry tests assess motor function in the esophagus. Also called esophageal motility studies, these tests monitor function in the upper esophageal sphincter, esophageal body and lower esophageal sphincter. The test is ordered when a patient has difficulty swallowing or is experiencing chest pain. Results will show whether or not the esophagus is properly moving food to the stomach.
Heller myotomy is a surgery that treats achalasia, a disorder that prevents the ability to swallow. By making a small incision in the muscles of the cardia, Heller mytomy allows food and liquids to properly pass through the stomach. The advantages of Heller myotomy include less post-operative pain and a quicker return to normal activities.
Hydrogen Breath Test
A hydrogen breath test measures hydrogen in the breath to diagnose issues in the small intestine. It is usually performed through the patient blowing a balloon full of air. Hydrogen breath testing is used for problems digesting dietary sugars and to diagnose bacterial overgrowth of the small bowel or rapid passage of food through the small intestine. Patients must fast for at least 12 hours before a hydrogen breath test.
Ileoanal Anastomosis (J-Pouch Surgery)
Ileoanal anastomosis is a surgery that allows you to pass bowel movements after parts of the large intestine have been removed. Also called J-pouch surgery, patients elect this procedure because it does not leave a permanent opening in the abdomen. After about three months of healing, a second procedure can be performed to close the ileostomy, which allows you to pass bowel movements regularly.
Ileoanal Reservoir Surgery (IAR)
During an IAR procedure, the large bowel and rectum are removed and a new reservoir is surgically constructed. The reservoir is then stitched or stapled to where the rectum was. While this can be performed in one operation, it averages two, and can take up to three sessions. After complete, the patient is able to pass stools regularly.
An ileostomy is an opening made during your abdominal wall in surgery. Made by connecting the end or loop of your small intestine to the skin’s surface, ileostomies help treat digestive diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Chrohn’s disease. After ileostomy surgery, most people recover quickly and will be able to return to normal activities.
Infrared Coagulation (IRC)
Infrared coagulation (IRC) is a non-surgical treatment for hemorrhoids. Infrared coagulation (IRC) is a non-surgical treatment for hemorrhoids that uses heat to coagulate (clot) the veins to cut off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid.
The Linx Reflux Management System helps treat GERD when medication is not enough. During surgery, the Linx is implanted around the lower esophageal sphincter and magnetic beads help the valve close. When you swallow, belch or vomit, the beads will open. A minimally invasive treatment, Linx helps prevent acid reflux. It is also a reversible procedure. Patients are able to go home the same day of surgery and can resume eating a normal diet.
Nissen fundoplication is a surgical procedure that treats GERD. Performed via laparoscopic surgery, Nissen fundoplication is the go-to surgical treatment when medical therapy has failed. Also called a complete fundoplication, the surgery entails stitching the upper part of the stomach around the lower end of the esophagus. It is frequently performed in combination with modification of the pylorus.
Peroral Endoscopic Myotomy (POEM)
A peroral endoscopic myotomy is an endoscopic procedure used to treat swallowing disorders, namely achalasia. During this surgery, a small, flexible tube will be placed into the mouth or rectum, which allows your physician to see into the esophagus, intestine and colon. The main benefits to choosing peroral endoscopic myotomy are no incisions and little-to-no hospital stay.
Primary Bowel Resection
A bowel resection is a major surgery which removes part of the bowel, including the small intestine, large intestine or rectum. Bowel resections are often used to treat cancer, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, blockage or severe bleeding. During the surgery, your physician will detach the large intestine from surrounding organs and tissues to remove damaged components. Healthy components of the large intestine are then reconnected with tiny staples or sutures.
A proctocolectomy is the surgical removal of the rectum as well as all or part of the colon. Proctocolectomies cure ulcerative colitis and can help lessen the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. During surgery, physicians make a surgical cut in the lower belly, remove the large intestine and rectum, and then create an ileostomy.
A sigmoidoscopy is a medical exam of the large intestine. Using a long and flexible tube called a sigmoidoscope, your physician can check the inner lining of the rectum and lower part of the colon. This allows your doctor to check for ulcers, abnormal cells, polyps and cancer. A sigmoidoscopy is recommended for patients with gut problems, including rectal bleeding, problems with bowel movements, and abdominal pain.
Upper Endoscopy (EGD)
An upper endoscopy is a procedure used to examine the digestive system. Also called an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, a gastroenterologist uses a thin scope to look inside the upper digestive tract. Upper endoscopies are recommended if you’re experiencing heartburn, nausea, bleeding, problems swallowing, or abdominal or chest pain. They can also help diagnose tumor, ulcers and inflammation.
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