Comprehensive, highly specialized treatment of disorders of the digestive system
Gastroenterology involves disorders of the digestive system—including the stomach, esophagus, small intestine, large intestine (colon), liver, gallbladder and pancreas—that can be painful and in some cases life threatening.
The board-certified gastroenterologists at Hurley Medical Center treat the full range of disorders and conditions of the digestive system. We provide early screening and detection for cancer and other diseases, community-based prevention programs, and individualized treatment for patients, as well as counseling and education for family members and caregivers. Our primary goal is to give patients every opportunity for healing and recovery, and to improve their overall quality of life.
We also work closely with experienced surgeons and physicians from throughout the medical center to treat complex problems or diseases that may involve more than one area or system of the body. Whether a patient has experienced abdominal injuries as the result of an accident, is seeking to manage a problem with obesity, or is facing a chronic or life-threatening condition, we regularly collaborate with surgeons and doctors from Hurley’s Level I Trauma Center, the Hurley Bariatric Center, the Hurley Cancer Center and other departments and specialty services.
With one of the area’s only board-certified nutrition specialists and a team of registered dieticians and trained staff, Hurley Medical Center provides nutrition counseling for adults, children and seniors. We design appropriate nutritional programs for inpatients in all of the hospital’s units, and help outpatients follow eating programs that enable them to manage a range of digestive and related disorders, including gastrointestinal problems, intestinal disease, irritable bowel and inflammatory bowel disease (such as Crohn’s disease), ulcers, acid reflux and celiac disease (gluten intolerance), as well as obesity.
Colorectal cancer screening
Like most cancers, the key to winning the fight against colon cancer is early screening and detection. Colon cancer often progresses without any obvious symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage. However, there are a number of techniques that can help identify digestive-tract cancers early so that aggressive treatment can prevent further complications or death. The first step is to share information with your doctor about potential risk factors, including a family or personal history of colon cancer or polyps, or if you suffer from colitis and similar disorders. Minimally invasive detection techniques, such as fecal occult blood testing and fecal immunochemical testing can be performed annually. Other techniques, such as flexible sigmoidoscopy, double-contrast barium enema tests or colonoscopy should be performed every five to ten years in older adults. If cancer is suspected or identified, our gastroenterologists work closely with physicians in the Hurley Cancer Center to provide a range of treatment options.
Endoscopy is a diagnostic technique that enables the physician to visually inspect the throat, esophagus or colon, perform biopsies, remove growths in the digestive tract, and perform a number of other treatments. Patients are lightly sedated during the procedure and a flexible tube is inserted down the throat or into the colon. Hurley’s gastroenterologists were pioneers in the use of endoscopy for stenting of the bile duct and other digestive system structures and organs. We regularly perform a range of therapeutic procedures, including esophageal dilation and ablation, palliative laser ablation of tumors, electrocoagulation and other methods to control stomach bleeding, and removal of polyps and other growths.
Treatment of liver disorders and related conditions
Our gastroenterologists treat a broad range of diseases of the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and pancreas, including hepatitis, cirrhosis, stones and tumors. Treatment plans vary based on the patient’s medical condition and may include liver biopsies, a minimally invasive procedure that analyzes a small sample of tissue taken from the organ, as well as stenting, radiation and surgery.
Treatment for complications following bariatric surgery
For some patients struggling with severe obesity, bariatric surgery at the Hurley Bariatric Center is an option that can—under appropriate medical supervision—help them lose excess weight. All surgery involves some risk, and a small number of patients may experience complications following bariatric surgery. Hurley Medical Center has a committed gastroenterologist who works closely with our bariatric surgeons to provide assistance during surgery and post-operative recovery. We help resolve potential issues such as stomach bleeding, obstructions, placement of laparoscopic bands and sleeves, and other problems in the stomach and esophagus.
If you are interested in knowing more about bariatric surgery at the Hurley Bariatric Center, please click here to register for an upcoming seminar, view the complete schedule of upcoming seminars, or to inquire about our surgical options.