Digestive Health

Dr. Jasmine Zia with a patient

​​​​​UW Medicine's Digestive Health Institute provides comprehensive and innovative treatment for diseases and disorders of the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder and bile ducts small intestine, colon, rectum, anus, pelvic floor, as well as preventive screenings to evaluate patients' digestive tract health. These screenings can identify potential diseases for early treatment as well as reveal inflammation, ulcers, polyps and other conditions. UW Medicine's collaborative model ensures that each patient's care is informed by a multidisciplinary team with expertise in gastroenterology, hepatology, surgery, oncology, radiology, pathology, urology and gynecology, and support services such as nutrition, weight loss management, physical therapy and ostomy care.

Our focus is to improve the health, nutrition and overall quality of life for our patients through education, support and counseling. When surgery is advisable, we prioritize minimally invasive treatments, as the leaders in laparoscopic and minimally invasive techniques over the last two decades. We also offer patients the opportunity to participate in clinical trials for promising new therapies.

 

Our Services

Our Gastroenterology team offers a full range of screenings, consultations and advanced tests for the gastrointestinal system. Many of these procedures, known as endoscopic procedures, involve using a flexible narrow tube to look into the gastrointestinal tract in order to diagnose, and in some cases, treat problems of the digestive tract. Our expertise in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD),  and other benign and malignant diseases of the digestive tract enable us to offer new therapies, imaging protocols and minimally invasive surgical techniques that maximize patient comfort and minimize recovery time.

Our Esophageal & Gastric Surgery team diagnoses and treats patients for acid reflux (GERD), achalasia, Barrett's esophagus and other food-transit problems, hiatal hernias, diverticula and cancer of the esophagus and stomach. Our physicians use endoscopy, manometry, pH monitoring, intraluminal impedance and other diagnostics to expertly interpret symptoms that can often materialize slowly and with subtle origins.

Our Liver Care and Liver Tumor​ team includes transplant surgeons, radiologists and pathologists, medical and surgical oncologists, and interventional radiologists specializing inliver function and disease.  The Liver Tumor multidisciplinary team  participates in a weekly  comprehensive review of  patients with benign or malignant liver tumors, as well as non-tumor liver masses like cysts providing patients with a consensus recommendation from a panel of liver specialists. Partnering with the Liver Tumor team is the Liver Transplant team who provides comprehensive care for patients with liver disease and liver failure, including those who will require organ transplantation.

​Our Pancreas Disease team specializes in the care of  pancreatic cancer, severe acute and chronic pancreatitis and bile duct complications/injuries.  Lead by a team of medical, surgical and radiation oncologists, pathologists and radiologist our Pancreatic Cancer Specialty Clinic offers a new standard of care for the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer based on the most recent research developments  

Our Colorectal Services team comprehensively evaluates patients to discern the cause and extent of disorders of the colon, rectum, anus and pelvic floor. Our team has extensive experience in diagnosing and distinguishing among inflammatory bowel diseases (such as Crohn's and ulcerative colitis), malignant colorectal and pelvic floor disorders. We ensure that our patients fully understand their condition, what is at stake, what options exist and our recommended therapies. We deliver appropriate, individualized medical and surgical treatment to support patients' recovery. 

Our Inflammatory Bowel Disease team works closely with the Colorectal Services team to provide a multidisciplinary approach that ensures care is carefully tailored to each individual patient. We provide therapeutic options not available elsewhere based on our extensive clinical trials program that allows patients access to the latest drugs that may not yet be available to other physicians.

Our Pelvic Health team provides a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis, consultation and treatment of urinary incontinence, bladder dysfunction, constipation or defecation difficulties, fecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse (including uterine, cystocele, rectocele, enterocele and rectal prolapse), pelvic pain and female sexual dysfunction.

Our Advanced Endoscopy team provides innovative management of Barrett's esophagus, pancreatic and bile duct disorders, and cancers of the esophagus, stomach, and pancreas. In addition to specialized procedures such as endoscopic ultra​sound, capsule endoscopy, small intestinal enteroscopy, and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), we have expertise in confocal laser endomicroscopy and volumetric laser endomicroscopy to diagnose cancer and pre-cancer at curable stages.​