Gastrointestinal disorders can be disruptive and distressing. Perhaps you constantly worry about your next flare of Crohn’s disease. Maybe you avoid social activities due to persistent gas or diarrhea.
But you don’t have to put your life on hold or suffer in silence. The gastroenterology team
at The Christ Hospital Health Network has helped countless people get their symptoms under control or face serious conditions like inflammatory bowel disease
We offer complete care for most digestive disorders, including the following medical and surgical options.
Non-surgical medical treatments
Non-surgical therapies may be used alone or in combination with other treatments, including minimally invasive or surgical procedures. They include:
- Lifestyle changes—losing weight, limiting alcohol use or avoiding certain foods and beverages that can aggravate symptoms.
- Medicines—acid blockers, steroids, antiviral drugs, immunosuppressants or antibiotics can help improve symptoms or slow disease progression.
- Physical rehabilitation—pelvic floor physical therapy may help treat chronic constipation or fecal incontinence, while swallowing therapy can help people who have trouble swallowing.
The term endoscopy refers to many procedures that use endoscopes (thin, hollow tubes) to look inside the body. These procedures help doctors diagnose and treat many conditions, including digestive disorders, without surgery.
Most endoscopes contain tiny lights and cameras. Images from the camera are shown on a large video screen, so your doctor can see your internal organs close-up and in real time. Depending on the part of your body that needs treatment, the endoscope can be passed through your mouth, rectum or a tiny incision (cut) in your skin.
Endoscopic treatments available at The Christ Hospital Health Network include:
- Colonoscopy—doctors use this procedure to look for early signs of colon cancer and remove polyps from the colon or rectum.
- Cryoablation (cryotherapy)—liquid nitrogen sprayed through an endoscope freezes and kills pre-cancerous or cancerous cells.
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) —using tiny tools passed through an endoscope, doctors can open blocked or narrowed bile ducts, remove gallstones or tumors, or insert stents (metal or plastic tubes).
- Esophageal balloon dilation—a balloon attached to an endoscope is inflated, stretching an esophagus that has become too narrow.
- Radiofrequency ablation—thermal (heat) energy applied through an endoscope burns and kills pre-cancerous or cancerous cells.
- Stenting—a tiny stent placed in the esophagus or a bile duct keeps that passageway propped open.
The Christ Hospital Health Network offers a full range of general surgery
and colon and rectal surgery
options for people with gastrointestinal disorders. Our minimally invasive and “open” procedures include:
- Cholecystecomy—surgery to remove the gallbladder.
- Colostomy—an artificial opening on the outside of the body that feces can pass through.
- Fundoplication—repairs the muscle that prevents food and stomach acids from flowing backward from the stomach into the esophagus.
- Heller myotomy—treats tight, stiff muscles that make it hard for food and liquids to pass into the stomach.
- Hemorrhoid surgery—removes hemorrhoids that have not responded to treatments like topical creams or dietary changes.
- J-pouch surgery—an internal pouch that lets people who had their colon or rectum removed continue passing stool normally.
- Resective surgery—removes all or part of an organ, such as the esophagus, colon or liver.
Multispecialty treatments for IBD and gastrointestinal cancers
If you’re diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or gastrointestinal cancer
, you have access to state-of-the-art care and supportive resources from a multispecialty team of experts. Together we’ll help you face or fight your condition and improve your quality of life.