Esophagus and Upper GI Disease

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Upper gastrointestinal (GI) disease is a group of conditions affecting the esophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine. It causes symptoms like heartburn, difficulty swallowing and pain that can affect your quality of life. 

Medications and lifestyle changes help many people get relief, but they aren’t for everyone. If standard therapies aren’t providing relief, look to the expertise at Nuvance Health. We offer tests and treatments that you might not expect to find in community settings such as ours. 

Esophagus and Upper GI Disease Care at Nuvance Health: Why Choose Us?

You receive services from digestive health doctors (gastroenterologists) specializing in esophagus and upper GI diseases. We detect and treat issues in earlier stages lowering the risk of complications. These capabilities help us care for some of the region’s most complex cases. Highlights of our program include:

  • Minimally invasive procedures
    The team includes doctors who completed additional training through fellowships in advanced endoscopy. This minimally invasive technique uses long thin tubes (endoscopes) to access treatment areas. Sophisticated instruments at the tip enable us to carry out many procedures that once required surgery.
  • Innovative therapies
    We were among the first programs in New York’s Hudson Valley and Western Connecticut offering spray cryotherapy for esophageal cancer. Cryotherapy uses cold gas to shrink cancerous growths enabling us to remove them with less disruption to nearby tissue.
  • Coordination
    Gastroenterologists manage the details of your care so that you can focus on feeling better. We collaborate with specialists from imaging and radiology, the Nuvance Health Cancer Institute, surgical services (including hernia specialists) and more. 

Esophagus and Upper GI Disease Services

  • Esophageal, gastric and small intestinal disease evaluation  

    Tests we use to evaluate esophagus and upper GI disease include: 

    • Capsule endoscopy: You swallow a pill with a tiny camera that captures images while moving through the digestive system. We use this test to detect inflammation that occurs with celiac disease or gastrointestinal bleeding.
    • Double balloon enteroscopy: An endoscope with a two-balloon system at the tip navigates tissue that’s beyond the reach of standard scopes. The balloons gently grip tissue creating room for the endoscope to advance into deep sections of the intestines.
    • Esophageal manometry (motility testing): We place sensors in your esophagus and use a special computer to measure pressure and muscle activity when you swallow. This test shows how well the esophagus moves substances toward your stomach.
    • Hydrogen breath test: We measure hydrogen gas levels in your breath after drinking a sugary solution. This test helps us diagnose small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which causes constant stomach discomfort.
  • Upper GI disease treatment   

    Sophisticated treatments we offer include:

    • Ablation: We use a variety of techniques to create scar tissue that stops abnormal bleeding and destroys cancerous growths. Offerings include spray cryotherapy and radiofrequency ablation, which involves heat from electrical sources.
    • Esophageal dilation and stenting: Specialists use a balloon and other devices to widen narrow areas. To keep the esophagus open, they may implant a hollow mesh device (stent).

Esophageal, Stomach and Small Intestine Diseases We Treat

  • Esophagus conditions  

    Esophageal conditions we treat include: 

    • Achalasia: Nerve damage prevents muscles in the esophagus from functioning as they should, leading to difficulty swallowing and chest pain.
    • Acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows up the back of the throat, causing irritation. GERD is when you experience acid reflux regularly.
    • Barrett’s esophagus: Abnormal cell changes in the lining of the esophagus that can lead to cancer. 
    • Esophageal polyps and cancer: Abnormal cell growths that start in the lining of the esophagus. Polyps are noncancerous but can become large enough to cause a blockage.
    • Eosinophilic esophagitis: High counts of white blood cells (eosinophils) that occur in the esophagus. Eosinophils release substances that cause inflammation and narrowing
  • Upper GI conditions   

    Upper GI conditions we treat include:

    • Celiac disease: An immune system response to a protein (gluten) that’s in bread and many other foods. 
    • Crohn’s disease: A type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in which the body’s immune system attacks the small or large intestine.
    • Gastric tumors and cancer: Abnormal cell growths that start in the stomach lining and may or may not be cancerous. Read more about stomach cancer.
    • Gastrointestinal bleeding: Often a symptom of another condition, such as ulcers, tissue tears and vascular malformations.
    • Small bowel intestinal overgrowth: Condition that occurs when there are abnormally high levels of bacteria in the small intestine.
    • Peptic ulcers: Sores in the lining of your esophagus, stomach or small intestine that cause burning pain that comes and goes.