Gastroenterology is the field of medicine relating to the treatment of the gastrointestinal tract. Gastroenterologists focus on the treatment of diseases of the digestive system, this includes a range of organs starting at the mouth and ending at the rectum.
Gastrointestinal (GI) care in Virginia
We are here to offer you the digestive system care you need.
At HCA Virginia Health System, our specialists help you manage GI conditions such as acid reflux, colitis and Crohn's disease. We plan treatment tailored to your needs, because your health is our top priority.
Digestive disorders we treat
Our gastroenterological services involve treatments for conditions that affect the digestive system. Some of the GI conditions we treat include:
- Abdominal pain and ulcers
- Acid reflux
- Anal condyloma
- Anal fissures
- Anal fistulae
- Bowel obstructions
- Colon polyps
- Colorectal cancer
- Crohn's disease
- Diseases of the bile duct or pancreas
- Fecal incontinence
- Gallbladder disease
- Gastric, duodenal and peptic ulcers
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- GI bleeding
- GI cancer
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Outlet obstructions
- Rectal prolapse
- Stomach pain
- Swallowing difficulty
- Tumors of the GI tract
- Ulcerative colitis
Our Treatments & Services
HCA Virginia's hospitals provide dedicated, complete care for conditions and diseases of your GI tract. Our expert clinicians include gastroenterologists, GI surgeons and other digestive health specialists. As a team, they work closely to ensure you're properly diagnosed and given access to innovative and minimally invasive treatments.
Comprehensive gastric and digestive care
We provide dedicated, complete care for conditions and diseases of your GI tract. This includes the esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, colon and rectum. As part of our commitment to your GI health, we provide dedicated care centers and programs. This includes:
- The Colon & Rectal Surgery Program at Retreat Doctor's Hospital — specialized in preventive, diagnostic and surgical treatments for conditions of the colon, rectum and anus
- Center for Thoracic and Esophageal Disorders and the Digestive Disease Center at Reston Hospital Center — advanced care for esophagus and GI tract conditions and issues
- The Hernia Center at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital — specialized in hernia repairs using minimally invasive technology
Diagnostic gastroenterology procedures we offer
We use a variety of imaging exams and laboratory tests to diagnose GI conditions. These procedures include:
- 24-hour pH monitoring
- Blood fecal tests
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan
- Esophageal capsule endoscopy
- Fecal tests
- High-resolution anorectal manometry with impedance
- High-resolution esophageal manometry with impedance
- Lower GI series (barium enema)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
- Small bowel capsule endoscopy
- Upper GI series
Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. The best way to detect colon cancer in its earliest stages is through screenings. When detected early, colon cancer is highly treatable, which is why our hospitals offer colonoscopies to screen for colon cancer.
Colon cancer screenings we offer
It is typically suggested that colon cancer screenings begin at 50 years old and continue in regular intervals moving forward. Although, if you have certain risk factors, such as IBD or a family history of the disease, talk to your doctor about when you should be screened.
GERD, acid reflux and heartburn
Heartburn is a symptom of a condition known as acid reflux. It is caused by a backup of stomach acid or other contents into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation.
Frequent heartburn and chronic acid reflux can develop into GERD. This disease can lead to serious health complications, such as esophageal cancer, but it can be easily treated if diagnosed early.
Symptoms of GERD
In addition to heartburn, symptoms of GERD may include:
- Asthma, wheezing or chronic bronchitis
- Bitter taste in the mouth
- Chronic sore throat or cough
- Difficulty sleeping while lying flat or after eating
- Difficulty swallowing food
- Regurgitation of fluid or food into the throat or mouth
- Suddenly waking from sleep to find yourself choking, coughing or unable to breathe adequately
GERD treatments we provide
At our hospitals, we take a comprehensive approach to treating GERD. We provide diagnostic pH monitoring of the acid and alkaline balance and manometry testing of digestive muscle conditions.
Often, acid reflux can often be managed through diet, lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medication. When more in-depth care is needed, some of our facilities offer treatments with endoscopy, radiofrequency ablation and minimally invasive surgery.
For the most complex acid reflux cases, Henrico Doctors' Hospital has become a destination for GERD treatment due to pioneering multiple innovative surgical approaches that have provided relief to thousands of patients.
A hernia is a hole or defect in the abdominal muscle wall which allows internal tissue to protrude, usually creating a visible bulge. This hole can occur anywhere that the muscle wall is weak or subject to strain.
Hernia treatments we provide
Hernias do not go away on their own — surgery is the only treatment option. Our surgical treatments for hernias include:
- Abdominal wall reconstruction
- Inguinal and femoral hernia repair
- Ventral hernia repair
Treatments for gastrointestinal (GI) conditions
Whenever possible, we will do our best to treat your condition without surgery. There are many diet and lifestyle changes as well as medications that can help or heal GI conditions.
However, sometimes surgery is the best solution. In these cases, our experienced GI surgeons use advanced surgical technologies, including minimally invasive robotic surgery systems. These systems offer numerous benefits to patients. For example, patients typically experience shorter hospital stays, less scarring and quicker recoveries with robotic surgery.
Colorectal surgeries we offer
Our colon and rectal surgical programs offer comprehensive services for preventing, detecting and treating disorders of the colon, rectum and anus. This includes advanced technology, new therapies and minimally invasive surgical options.
Our colorectal surgical services include:
- Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR)
- Laparoscopic colon and rectal surgeries
- Large colon polyp resection
- Restorative proctocolectomies for the small intestine and anus
- Small tumor ablation
- Specialist collaborations to perform:
- Pelvic floor reconstruction
- Rectal prolapse repairs
- Vaginal prolapse repairs
Endoscopic treatments we provide
Endoscopy is a type of procedure that allows physicians to visualize the internal organs, including the esophagus, stomach and intestines. Endoscopy is performed using an endoscope, which is a long, thin tube with a camera on the tip.
Endoscopies are useful to investigate gastric problems, such as pain in the stomach or abdomen, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, indigestion, tumors and ulcers. Endoscopy can also be used as a treatment for colorectal conditions, such as removing polyps or taking tissue samples for analysis.
Our hospitals offer a variety of endoscopic procedures, including endoscopic colonoscopy, retrograde cholangiopancreatography and upper GIs.
Endoscopies are performed as outpatient procedures, allowing you to return to your daily life as quickly as possible.
Looking for a location?
The Healthy Living Blog
Fresh knowledge and insights in and around healthcare industry.