Whether they are mild or severe, digestive disorders can cause a lot of distress for you and your family. Our gastrointestinal (GI) team has the skills and training to expertly diagnose GI disorders and begin your treatment as soon as possible. Our goals are relieve your symptoms and cure your illness so that you can get back to your daily activities.
Expert Gastrointestinal Care at Presence Saint Francis Hospital
Our skilled gastroenterologists (specialists in digestive disorders) and GI nurses have years of experience caring for patients with GI disorders and diseases. All of our nurses have specialized training in gastroenterology, and many are certified through the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates.
GI Lab at Presence Saint Francis: Conditions We Treat
Our digestive specialists treat a wide range of GI problems, including:
- Abdominal pain caused by a number of digestive disorders
- Cancer in any area of the digestive system, including the esophagus, stomach, gallbladder, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine, rectum and anus
- Gallstones: Solidified digestive fluids, such as bile, in the gallbladder
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Leakage of contents from the stomach back into the esophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms
- Heartburn: Painful, burning sensation in the chest or throat, caused by stomach acid leaking up into the esophagus
- Hemorrhoids: Inflamed, swollen veins in the lower rectum or around the anus
- Hepatitis: A group of infectious diseases that lead to inflammation of the liver, usually caused by viruses or excessive drug or alcohol use
- Inflammatory bowel disease: A group of diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis that cause inflammation in different areas of the digestive system
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): A disorder of the large intestine that can cause diarrhea, constipation and related symptoms
- Peptic ulcer: A sore in the lining of the stomach or first part of the small intestine (duodenum) caused by a bacterial infection that damages the lining, allowing acid to eat away at the lining
Diagnostic Imaging for Digestive Disorders
Our expert gastroenterologists and highly qualified nurses work as a team to evaluate you using the latest, most advanced diagnostic tools and techniques. We then develop your individualized treatment plan, which may include lifestyle changes, medication or a procedure. As part of our diagnostic process, we may order imaging tests to help us determine the cause of your symptoms. We do all our own imaging here in the GI Lab, including:
- CT (computed tomography) scan: Specialized X-ray equipment that produces cross-sectional images of the body
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan: A machine that uses a large magnet and radio waves to create detailed images of organs and other tissues inside the body
- Ultrasound: Equipment that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce moving and still images of organs and other tissues inside the body
- X-ray: Imaging that uses radiation to produce images of structures inside the body, including bones and conditions such as pneumonia and gallstones
Diagnosis and Treatment of Digestive Disorders
In many cases, we can treat the condition during a diagnostic procedure. Depending on your specific case, we may perform one or more of the following procedures for diagnosing and treating GI disorders:
- Colonoscopy: Your gastroenterologist uses an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a tiny light and camera) to examine the lining of your entire large intestine (rectum and colon). Your physician may take a biopsy (tiny tissue sample) of any areas that need further analysis. If your physician finds a polyp (small clump of cells) during the colonoscopy, he or she can remove it at that time. A colonoscopy can find precancerous and cancerous growths in the large intestine.
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): Your gastroenterologist uses an endoscope to take X-rays to find and remove blockages in the bile ducts and the pancreatic duct. During an ERCP, your physician can destroy or remove gallstones; take a biopsy of suspicious tissue in the pancreas, gallbladder or bile ducts; and diagnose other conditions in these areas.
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy: Similar to a colonoscopy, a sigmoidoscopy is a procedure in which your physician examines the rectum and only the lower part of the colon. During a sigmoidoscopy, your physician can take biopsies or remove polyps. A sigmoidoscopy can find precancerous and cancerous growths in these areas.
- Upper GI endoscopy (EGD): Your gastroenterologist uses an endoscope to examine the lining of your upper GI tract, including the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. An EGD can help find the cause of symptoms such as persistent heartburn or other upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bleeding or difficulty swallowing. During an EGD, your physician may be able to treat some conditions such as removing polyps or foreign objects and stopping bleeding.
Preparing for Your Procedure
If you are having a procedure at the GI Lab, your gastroenterologist and nurse will review with you all the details that you need to know to prepare. You may also review our pre-operative and post-operative instructions on our Surgery Center page.
To learn more about our services or if you have questions about a scheduled procedure, please call 847.316.7338.
Presence Saint Francis Hospital
355 Ridge Avenue
Evanston, IL 60202
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We offer free parking in our lots and parking garage.