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Gastroenterology

Gastroenterologists focus on the treatment of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and digestive system, including a range of organs starting at the mouth and ending at the rectum.

Digestive health specialists in Kansas City

Our gastroenterologists expertly diagnose and treat disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract so that you can live more comfortably.

GI disorders affect a wide range of critical organs, including the bowel, colon, esophagus, stomach, gallbladder, small and large intestines, liver, pancreas and rectum. While symptoms vary widely, when they become chronic or severe, it is important you see a specialist. At HCA Midwest Health, we are here for all of your needs, working to understand the root of your condition so we can design an effective treatment plan unique to you.

GI disorders we treat

Our GI health team includes gastroenterologists, general surgeons and ear, nose and throat specialists (otolaryngologists). These digestive experts offer comprehensive care for acute and chronic symptoms. Gastroenterologists may also work with specialists in nephrology, urology or oncology. We treat GI disorders such as:

  • Acid reflux (heartburn)
  • Celiac disease
  • Colon conditions, such as fissures, abscesses and diverticulitis (infection or inflammation of pouches that can form in your intestines)
  • Constipation
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Hepatitis
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Hernias
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Polyps
  • Ulcers

Heartburn, reflux and GERD treatment

Heartburn may be a symptom of indigestion, which can cause uncomfortable fullness, nausea and a burning or discomfort in the upper abdomen. When symptoms indicate a long-term condition, our experts offer advanced care. Signs of GERD or other chronic digestive issues include:

  • Acidic taste in the back of the throat
  • Burning sensation in the throat, or painful swallowing
  • Chronic upset stomach or pain
  • Difficulty swallowing, or a feeling of food stuck in the throat or chest
  • Pain or a burning feeling in the chest, which can worsen after lying down, bending over or eating
  • Persistent dry cough and/or hoarseness

Your GI specialist may recommend dietary changes, lifestyle adjustments and over-the-counter medication to manage symptoms. Additional treatment options may include:

  • Endoscopy to collect tissue samples, observe an internal organ or guide GI surgery
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Radiofrequency ablation (using heat to reduce or stop pain)

GI diagnostic and imaging services

Our GI specialists use a variety of tests to diagnose GI disorders and assess your health, including:

  • Colonoscopy — This test views the inside of your colon and rectum to screen for the source of abdominal pain, bleeding and changes in bowel habits. Additionally, it can be used to remove a small tissue sample for biopsy, or remove small growths, such as polyps.
  • Lower GI endoscopy — This test uses a thin, flexible tube to view your lower GI tract, small intestines, large intestines, rectum and anus.
  • Upper GI endoscopy — This examines the esophagus, stomach and first part of your small intestine.
  • Upper GI series — This is an X-ray of your upper digestive tract that finds ulcers, tumors and certain diseases.

Pediatric gastroenterology services and treatment

Chronic stomach aches, painful swallowing and other symptoms that affect a child's daily activities may indicate a serious problem. When your little one has these issues, we know you want a remedy quickly, and our expert pediatric gastroenterologists provide prompt, comprehensive pediatric GI care rooted in a personalized treatment plan.

Colon cancer screening

If a gastroenterologist sees symptoms of colorectal cancer, they may work with an oncologist to conduct tests to determine the type and stage of cancer and appropriate corresponding treatments. To achieve this, digestive specialists may perform the following colon cancer screening tests:

  • Biopsy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Digital rectal exam, to check the rectum for abnormalities
  • Fecal immunochemical test (FIT), or, a stool culture test used to detect hidden blood from the lower intestines
  • Fecal occult blood test, which looks for hidden blood in the stool from the upper and lower GI tract
  • Stool DNA test that looks for DNA changes in cells and blood in the stool
  • X-ray of the large intestine, also called a barium enema

Find help for a GI condition

If you have pain or difficulty eating or digesting, blood in the stool, changes in bowel habits, and/or weight loss, contact your primary care physician or contact our Nurses On-Call at 1 (800) 386-9355. Our nurses can answer your questions, provide next steps and help you find a physician or specialist.

Our Gastroenterology Locations