Jefferson University Hospitals

Gastroesophageal Center

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The Jefferson Gastroesophageal Center centralizes diagnosis and treatment of diseases (benign or malignant) and functional abnormalities of the esophagus and stomach. These include: achalasia, diaphragmatic hiatal and paraesophageal hernia, esophageal and gastric (stomach) cancer, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and gastroparesis.

Because these conditions are complex, our specialists take a collaborative approach to ensure accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Our distinguished multidisciplinary physicians include experts in surgery, gastroenterology, otolaryngology, pathology, radiology, radiation oncology and medical oncology. They are supported by specially-trained nurse practitioners who are highly experienced in caring for patients with gastroesophageal issues.

Diagnostic Services

Using high-definition endoscopic equipment with narrow band imaging and high-frequency endoscopic ultrasound technology, we are able to provide initial or second-opinion diagnosis through advanced techniques such as:

  • Endoscopic Ultrasound – provides detailed images of the esophagus, stomach and surrounding organs and allows for less invasive biopsies
  • 24-hour Ambulatory pH Monitoring – the “gold standard” for diagnosing GERD
  • BravoTM pH Probe – records pH or acid content using a miniature capsule attached to the wall of the esophagus
  • Photomicroscopy – uses highly magnified photographs taken through a microscope to examine cells in the lining of the esophagus

Non-Surgical Treatments

Our gastroenterologists offer such innovative treatments as:

  • Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) – advanced therapy regionally developed at Jefferson that can completely reverse the damage to esophagus tissue in 80 to 90 percent of cases
  • Photodynamic Therapy – administration of a light-sensitive drug, which is then exposed to a visible light beam, to destroy cancerous cells in the esophagus
  • Cryotherapy – application of extreme cold to destroy cancer cells

Minimally Invasive Surgery

The Jefferson Gastroesophageal Center offers various minimally invasive surgical procedures for treatment of benign and malignant gastroesophageal conditions. Many of these procedures were first available regionally at Jefferson; all of them result in shorter hospital stays, significantly less pain, less blood loss and transfusions, less scarring and faster return to normal activities than open surgery. Procedures include:

  • Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication – laparoscopic surgical option to provide long-term elimination of GERD
  • Robotic Heller Myotomy – to treat patients with achalasia
  • LINX® Reflux Management System – implanted laparoscopically around the esophagus to prevent GERD
  • Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy – ideal for esophageal cancer patients who require surgery to remove all or part of their esophagus
  • Laparoscopic Hiatal Hernia Repair – effective even for large hiatal hernias
  • Transoral Endoscopic Therapy – relieves symptoms of Zenker’s diverticulum, which causes difficulty in swallowing
  • Laparoscopic Gastrectomy – minimally invasive resection of GI stromal tumors (GIST) and leiomyomas

Scheduling an Appointment

If you are a physician and would like to refer a patient for a consultation, please call Jefferson’s Physician Referral Line at 215-503-8888.

If you are a patient seeking more information or would like to schedule an appointment, please call 1-800-JEFF-NOW (1-800-533-3669) or request an appointment online.