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GI and Hepatology Division Update

The GI and Hepatology Division was recently recognized by US News and World Report as one of the leading centers in the US for the treatment of gastrointestinal and liver disorders. The division, which works as a single, functional unit, is comprised of several sub-specialized areas of expertise including gastrointestinal motility, hepatology, pancreatico-biliary disease, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In addition, the division is dedicated to prompt availability to clinics and for open access endoscopy, improvement of the now well-established, dedicated, inpatient consult service and a feeding tube service.

Motility-related disorders are common in the general population and particularly in the elderly and include dysphagia, vomiting, constipation and diarrhea. Drs. Reza Shaker, Walter Hogan, and Benson Massey are recognized as international experts in the evaluation and management of these disorders. Their expertise is supplemented by a state-of-the -art manometry laboratory located at Froedtert Hospital which allows for thorough and multidisciplinary evaluation. Dr. Thangam Venkatesan oversees the Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Clinic which evaluates patients not only with this condition, but also others with delayed gastric emptying due to multiple etiologies. This is one of the few such specialized clinics in the US.

The Hepatology service provides evaluation and treatment of patients with acute and chronic liver disease. The hepatology clinics under the direction of the hepatology faculty Drs. Jose Franco, Kia Saeian, Samer Gawrieh, Syed Rizvi and Jonathan Huang include the Viral Hepatitis Clinic where patients have access to all new therapies as well as IRB-sponsored clinical trials, the Metabolic Liver Disease Clinic with a particular focus on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The End-Stage Liver Disease Clinic provides comprehensive care for patients with jaundice, ascites, and encephalopathy, portal hypertensive bleeding and liver cancer and allows patients to have their care consolidated including evaluation for liver transplant. Comprehensive post-transplant care is also provided and has resulted in post-transplant survival rates exceeding national averages. A dedicated inpatient service collaborates closely with inpatient internal medicine providers to provide comprehensive care.

Recent developments in pancreatic and biliary imaging combined with faculty expertise have resulted in the ability to provide prompt diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic interventions once only available through invasive surgery. Drs. Kulwinder Dua, Abdul Khan, and Young (Danny) Oh lead the division’s efforts in therapeutic endoscopy including endoscopic ultrasound, fine needle aspiration/biopsy of tissue including lymph nodes, stent placement, drainage of abscesses or other fluid collections and necrotic material as well as endoscopic ablation of Barrett’s esophagus. Short hospital stays and complication rates well-below national means have resulted in decreased mortality and morbidity.

The IBD Clinic provides outstanding multidisciplinary care for all patients with ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and indeterminate colitis. The increasing clinical applications of biological agents require a knowledgeable and detail-oriented approach to these chronic conditions. Under the direction of the faculty, Drs. Lilani Perera, Amar Naik, Daniel Stein, and Nanda Venu, and with the availability of clinical trials, one of the largest inflammatory bowel disease databases in the country and state-of-the-art endoscopic evaluation, the multiple providers of the inflammatory bowel disease team provide comprehensive and innovative state-of-the-art IBD care.

The GI and Hepatology Division continues to be dedicated to enhancing our services to both patients and referring physicians.


Article written by Jose Franco, MD, Professor, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
© 2015 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 01/19/2012