Digestive Health at St. Vincent involves gastroenterologists and nurses specializing in endoscopic and gastroenterology procedures, including colonoscopy. These specialists treat all types of upper and lower GI conditions including colorectal cancer. If you are over 50 years of age, ask our family physician about having a baseline colonoscopy. This minimally invasive procedure can significantly reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.
Digestive Health specialists address digestion concerns and issues related to pelvic health and treat all types of GI conditions including Crohn’s disease, gluten sensitivities and food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Hepatitis C, and abdominal pain and bloating.
Our enterostomal therapy provides direct and supportive care to patients with colostomies, urostomies and ileostomies in the hospital, confined to home, or on an outpatient basis. These services include:
Our enterostomal therapist also is available for assistance in the management of:
As a member of the Madison County Chapter of the United Ostomy Association, our enterostomal therapist attends meetings on a regular basis and helps the new ostomate and family gain a wider awareness of available support.
Physicians and registered nurses who have been specially trained for gastrointestinal, colorectal and pulmonary procedures staff the endoscopy suite at St. Vincent Carmel Hospital.
Our endoscopy suite includes:
Chronic acid reflux disease is also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If you have heartburn twice a week or more, you may have GERD. Heartburn is the most common symptom, but you may also experience:
Normally, after swallowing, a valve between the esophagus and stomach opens to allow food to pass, then it closes to prevent stomach contents from “refluxing” back into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest. For people who suffer from GERD, the valve is dysfunctional and unable to prevent acid from refluxing into the esophagus. If you are suffering from GERD, see the treatments St. Vincent offers.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid, and sometimes bile, backs up into the esophagus. Over time, the backwash of acid can irritate and inflame the lining of the esophagus.
Many times, GERD can be treated with over-the-counter medications. However, patients who continue to suffer from persistent heartburn two or more times a week should be seen by a qualified medical professional. These medications can lose their effectiveness over time and they don’t treat the underlying root cause of reflux. In addition, recent studies on the adverse effects of long-term use of over-the-counter medications indicate a significantly higher incidence of hip fractures, particularly among women. Left untreated, heartburn can lead to serious medical conditions, including Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer.
If you have heartburn twice a week or more, you may have GERD. Heartburn is the most common symptom, but you may also experience:
GERD today is typically treated with medications such as histamine receptor antagonists (H2 blockers), such as Pepcid, Tagamet and Zantac, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as Nexium, Prilosec and Protonix. Facts about these pharmaceuticals include:
For people who have severe GERD, surgical intervention may be required. Though the conventional laparoscopic procedure has long been proven a very effective long-term solution, it is still “invasive.” It includes incisions and patients must remain in the hospital for up to several days. For that reason, the number of GERD sufferers who undergo the procedure is relatively small.
EsophyX TIF (transoral incisionless fundoplication) is the latest treatment for safely and effectively treating GERD, and was developed to emulate more invasive surgical techniques, but from within and completely without incisions and visible scars.
The FDA-cleared EsophyX device is completely incisionless and is performed through the mouth, rather than through an abdominal incision.
Typically lasting no more than 30-45 minutes, the procedure is performed under general anesthesia and reconstructs the antireflux barrier to restore the competency of the gastroesophageal junction.
Most patients can go home the next day and return to work within a few days.
As a completely incisionless procedure, EsophyX TIF reconstructs the antireflux barrier to provide a solution to the anatomical root cause of GERD. The procedure is for patients who are dissatisfied with current pharmaceutical therapies or are concerned about the long-term effects of daily use of reflux medications.
TIF is performed endoscopically using the innovative EsophyX surgical device from EndoGastric Solutions. In clinical studies, 79% of patients remained off daily PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) and 70% experienced a total elimination of heartburn at two years after the EsophyX TIF procedure.
BARRX is a new treatment option for Barrett’s Esophagus, a condition that can often result from chronic heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, commonly referred to as GERD. It is performed by St. Vincent gastroenterologists. BARRX can minimize the risk of developing esophageal cancer if suffering from Barrett’s Esophagus.
Upper Endoscopy is usually performed on an outpatient basis. It is performed with the patient lying on the left side. For the procedure, you will swallow a thin, flexible, lighted tub called an endoscope. The endoscope transmits an image of the inside of the esophagus. The physician will view the esophagus with the endoscope and measure the area that requires treatment. The physician will then insert a BARRX ablation catheter into the esophagus to deliver energy to only the abnormal tissue.
This procedure can minimize or prevent abnormal cells from developing into a cancerous condition of the esophagus.
BARRX can minimize your risk of developing esophageal cancer if you suffer from Barrett's Esophagus. It is extremely important that you continue with your treatment for GERD on a long term basis as advised by your physician to prevent further damage to the lining of the esophagus.
TIF was developed to emulate more invasive surgical techniques, but from within and completely without incisions and visible scars.
The EsophyX TIF device is completely incisionless and is performed through the mouth, rather than through an abdominal incision. Typically, the procedure lasts no more than 30-45 minutes and is performed under general anesthesia. The procedure reconstructs the antireflux barrier between the stomach and the esophagus to restore the competency of the gastroesophageal junction. Most patients can go home the next day and return to work within a few days.
In clinical studies, 79% of patients undergoing TIF remained off daily medications such as Nexium and Prilosec and 70% experienced a total elimination of the heartburn at five years after incisionless surgery. Patients undergoing the TIF reserve the possibility of future surgical options and revisions if they have a relapse of symptoms.
One in four Americans suffer from an esophageal disorder. Are you at risk? Take the following quiz to find out:
If you answered yes to either of the first two questions and ANY other question, you have severe disease and may be at high risk for complications of GERD (i.e. esophagitis, ulcers, strictures, Barrett’s esophagus).
Our philosophy at the St. Vincent Digestive Health Center is to restore health and hope in patients struggling with digestive disorders. Because these can be both painful and embarrassing, our approach is to treat patients as early and effectively as possible in order to minimize complications and improve your health and well-being.
The St. Vincent Online Health Library provides more information about common symptoms and treatments for digestive health.
Our Digestive Health Center in Indianapolis has staff of over 50 medical specialists is among the most highly trained teams of physicians, nurses and technicians in the gastroenterology field today.
Overseen by Dr. Robert Callon, a board certified gastroenterologist and Chairman of the Digestive Health Center, our specialists and surgeons work together to provide treatment to the patient as a whole person, both physically and emotionally.
St. Vincent Digestive Health Center
2001 West 86th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46260
Our center is committed to providing state-of-the art care in endoscopic and advanced diagnostic procedures. We provide comprehensive care to adults and children for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of digestive disorders including, but not limited to:
Please call your primary care physician and ask for a referral to one of the specialists at the St. Vincent Digestive Health Center or call (317) 338-CARE (2273) if you are experiencing symptoms such as these: