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Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology is the field of medicine relating to the treatment of the gastrointestinal tract. Gastroenterologists focus on the treatment of diseases of the digestive system, this includes a range of organs starting at the mouth and ending at the rectum.

HCAH_Specialty_Gastroenterology

Gastroenterologists in Brandon, Florida

When you are experiencing digestive problems, you are not alone. Our team of highly skilled specialists is here to help you. 

Gastroenterologists at HCA Florida Brandon Hospital provide comprehensive and compassionate care to children and adults. Specifically, our digestive specialists have extensive training in diagnosing and treating gastric conditions. This includes problems and pain affecting the colon, gallbladder, intestine, liver and stomach. 

Gastrointestinal (GI) conditions we treat

We offer inpatient and emergency treatment for GI conditions and digestive diseases, including:

  • Acid reflux and heartburn
  • Appendicitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gallstones
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Hernias
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Lactose intolerance

GI treatments and services we offer

Depending on your symptoms, treatment options for gastric conditions range from medication management to surgical procedures. 

GI surgery

When surgery is needed, we use advanced techniques, including minimally invasive endoscopic surgery.

Surgical procedures we offer include:

  • Appendectomy (appendix removal)
  • Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal)
  • Esophagectomy (esophageal cancer removal)
  • Hernia repair
  • Stomach surgery

Pediatric gastroenterology

Our Pediatric Aerodigestive Center provides pediatric pulmonary care and digestive care to children. Here, our team collaborates to diagnose and treat disorders that can affect a child's ability to breathe, swallow and eat properly. This includes conditions such as:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Reflux
  • Stridor
  • Unexplained cough
Pediatric digestive health services

Our pediatric GI specialists perform the following services:

  • Esophageal impedance pH study — to determine whether contents from the stomach are coming up into the esophagus
  • High-resolution esophageal manometry — to determine how well the esophagus is working by measuring the pressure and coordination of the esophageal muscles
  • Modified barium swallow study — to help determine the cause of difficulty swallowing
  • Triple endoscopy — to visualize the larynx, bronchi and esophagus

GERD care

GERD, or chronic heartburn, results from a weakened lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES acts as the door between the esophagus and stomach. It allows food to pass into the stomach as well as enabling burping and vomiting.

When stomach acid refluxes and burns the lining of the esophagus, it is called heartburn.

Symptoms of GERD

The effects of GERD are noticeable through the following symptoms:

  • Asthma
  • Bad breath
  • Change in sense of smell
  • Change in sense of taste
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dry cough
  • Frequent burping
  • Heartburn and chest pain
  • Hoarseness (often in the morning)
  • Sensation of food stuck in the throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sour or bitter taste in the mouth
  • Stomach fullness or bloating
  • Wheezing
Diagnosing GERD

If over-the-counter medications are not managing the symptoms of GERD, we perform a range of diagnostic tests, including:

  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) — to visualize the esophagus, stomach and duodenum
  • Tubed and capsuled pH probe — to measure the frequency and duration of acid refluxing into the esophagus
  • Esophageal manometry — to measure the pressure of the muscle contractions in the esophagus.
Treating GERD

Treatment options for GERD provided by our GI specialists include:

  • Diet modification — Changes in eating habits, including eating smaller, frequent meals and earlier evening meals, can effectively manage GERD. It is also important to avoid foods known to reduce pressure on the LES, such as chocolate, alcohol, caffeinated beverages and peppermint.
  • Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication — This is a minimally invasive procedure that restores proper function to the LES. It wraps the upper portion of the stomach around the lower portion of the esophagus.
  • Lifestyle modification — GERD can be managed by lifestyle changes such as elevating the upper body when lying in bed and stopping smoking.
  • Over-the-counter medications — Medicines such as antacids, H2 blockers, proton-pump inhibitors and pro-motility drugs may be effective in treating the symptoms of GERD. However, medications alone do not treat the underlying cause of GERD.
  • Transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) — This is a completely incisionless procedure that uses an endoscope to reconstruct a durable anti-reflux valve while also tightening the LES. This reinforces the reflux barrier and restores the function of the lower esophageal sphincter.

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