If you’re experiencing a digestive disorder, count on the digestive health specialists at UNC Medical Center to treat issues ranging from simple to complex. Our compassionate, board-certified gastroenterologists and gastrointestinal surgeons work together to provide some of the best care in the country, so you can find relief for uncomfortable GI symptoms and return to an improved quality of life.
GI Conditions We Treat
Find expert one-time consultations and ongoing care, as well as endoscopic procedures for a full spectrum of gastrointestinal conditions, including:
- Celiac disease – A digestive disorder in which gluten causes the immune system to damage the small intestine
- Colorectal cancer – colonoscopy for screening and surveillance, as well as counselling for patients at high risk for colorectal cancer.
- Esophageal conditions and diseases
- Functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders (FGIDs) – Persistent, recurring symptoms that occur due to abnormal functioning of the digestive tract
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Liver diseases
- Pancreatic diseases, such as chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cysts, and pancreatic cancer
- Pediatric gastrointestinal conditions
Diagnosing Your GI Condition
At your first clinic appointment, your gastroenterologist will meet you and ask about your symptoms, personal and family medical history, and medications. Then you will get a complete physical exam. You may receive recommendations for additional exams, including blood tests, imaging tests, GI endoscopic procedures and/or motility tests. Endoscopic procedures allow the doctor to see, and sometimes treat, your digestive tract. Motility tests assess your digestive tract’s anatomy and function.
You and your doctor will discuss your treatment plan, which could include nutrition recommendations, biofeedback therapy or behavioral medicine pain management techniques, medications, endoscopic procedures and/or surgery, depending on your specific condition.
GI Endoscopic Procedures
Endoscopies use a long, thin, flexible tube with a light and a video camera so we can see inside your body. We perform more than 19,000 GI endoscopic procedures each year in three specialized GI procedures units. Our GI procedure team exceeds national quality performance benchmarks. Also, more than 97% of our patients would recommend us to a friend or family member. Throughout your procedure, anesthesiologists and skilled endoscopy nurses will stay by your side to keep you comfortable. Tests we offer include:
- Capsule endoscopy to assess the small intestine
- Colonoscopy – Looks inside the large intestine for polyps, cancers and other conditions
- Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) – Examines your esophagus, stomach and the first part of your small intestine; may be used to evaluate difficulty swallowing, heartburn, abdominal pain and bleeding.
- Enteroscopy – Similar to an EGD, but uses a specialized tube to examine deeper portions of the small intestine
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) – Takes X-rays after dye is injected into your bile ducts to make them visible; if the exam shows gallstones or narrow bile ducts, your doctor can remove or relieve the obstruction
- Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) – Uses a small ultrasound attachment to examine the esophagus, stomach and small intestine (upper EUS) or the rectum and colon (lower EUS)
- Video capsule endoscopy (VCE) – Involves swallowing a pill-sized capsule, which takes pictures of the small intestine and transmits them to a recorder you wear around your waist
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy – Looks inside the last portion of the colon and rectum for polyps, cancers and other conditions
- Infrared coagulation (IRC) – non-surgical treatment of internal hemorrhoids
- Ostomy exam – Examines a surgically created opening in the colon (ostomy) using a flexible tube with a small camera and light
- PEG/feeding tube placement
- Pouch exam – Examines a surgical J-pouch or ileal pouch using a flexible tube with a small camera and light
- Advanced therapeutic procedures, including endoscopic ablation of Barrett’s esophagus, treatment of complex pancreatic diseases, pallation of gastrointestinal malignancies, treatment of strictures, and endoscopic treatment of Zenker’s diverticulum