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The Woodlands Hospital - Digestive Diseases

Digestive Diseases

Digestive BannerDigestive health is something most of us don’t want to think about, let alone talk about. Many dismiss conditions like upset stomach, heartburn, and/or abdominal pain – even when they become more frequent and affect daily life.

There are solutions to get back the quality of life you were once accustomed. You should discuss with your primary care physician or a gastrointestinal diseases specialist the symptoms you are experiencing. Patients suffering from any kind of digestive problem can depend on the team of experts complemented by advanced technology at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands. The hospital offers comprehensive digestive disease services include screening, diagnostic testing and evaluation and leading-edge treatments, such us laparoscopic surgery to treat GERD (acid reflux disease) or gall bladder disease.

Diagnosis & Evaluation through Endoscopy

Endoscopy and imaging studies at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands offers advanced diagnostic testing and treatment for digestive diseases, such as ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Barrett Esophagus, colon cancer and  inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's and ulcerative colitis).

We feature three endoscopy procedure rooms and an eight-bed unit providing patients comfort and privacy during procedures. Our highly-trained physicians and nursing staff have access to the latest in endoscopic examination technology, including endoscopic video technology.

  • Our Endoscopy Services
  • Patient Guidelines

Our Endoscopy Services

We offer endoscopic evaluation of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon. Procedures performed include:

  • Upper endoscopy (EGD)
  • Colonoscopy
  • Recommended screening starting at age 50 and beyond, unless a risk factor is present
    (then a physician may suggest starting colon cancer screenings earlier). With early
    detection, through screenings, about 90 percent of colorectal cancer cases are curable.
  • ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography)
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
  • Gastrostomy/PEG/PEJ Placement
  • Anesthesiologist-administered sedation is also available

Endoscopy Patient Guidelines

To expedite your preadmission testing and ensure that your experience is as pleasant as possible please follow the guidelines outlined below.

Depending on the type of insurance or other health coverage you have, you may be required to precertify with your insurance company. Please discuss precertification requirements with your doctor before your procedure is scheduled.

Pre-procedure Guidelines

  • On the day of your procedure, please arrive at the Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Outpatient
    Services registration desk, located at the Medical Plaza Drive entrance.
  • Prior to the procedure you will be asked to complete an anesthesia/sedation questionnaire
    detailing your medical history, allergies, previous surgeries and medications.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the procedure, unless otherwise
    directed by your physician. Ask your physician if you need to take blood pressure, heart, diabetes
    or other medications with a sip of water the morning of your procedure. Please bring with you a
    list of all medications you are currently taking.
  • Wear non-binding, comfortable clothing (warm-ups, loose dress, roomy pants or shorts). No
    makeup or jewelry, please.
  • You will NOT be permitted to drive yourself home or take public transportation alone. Please
    make arrangements to have a responsible adult accompany you home after discharge or your
    procedure may be rescheduled.
  • During the procedure, family members will be directed to the appropriate reception area. They will
    be notified when your endoscopy is completed and you have been taken to the recovery area.
  • Before you are discharged, you will be instructed regarding your home care.

Pre-procedure Checklist

  • Insurance cards, identification, referrals or any paperwork given to you by your physician
  • List of medications you are currently taking
  • Please have a driver

Recovery

After the endoscopic procedure, you will be transported to the endoscopy recovery area for observation. While you’re there, your blood pressure, pulse and respirations will be checked at frequent intervals. A recovery area nurse will be attending your immediate needs and will assist in your discharge from the area.

Post-procedure Guidelines

  • If you have received sedative medication, please do not drive for 24 hours. Your physician may
    put additional restrictions on your driving.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages for 24 hours or while taking medication.
  • Discharge instructions will be given to you by your physician and the discharge nurse.
  • If you have any problems or questions during your recovery at home, please contact your
    physician.
  • A member of the nursing staff will call you 24-72 hours after your endoscopy procedure.

Laparoscopic Surgical Procedures

Laparoscopic surgical procedures utilize a series of small incisions compared to one large incision in a traditional open procedure. Laparoscopic surgery offers a shorter recovery time and a reduced hospital stay, with patients also reporting less pain, and a sense of complete recovery, compared to an open procedure.

Two of the most common laparoscopic procedures related to digestive diseases are those for GERD (acid reflux disease) and gall bladder disease.  Call 713.222.CARE(2273) for referral to a general surgeon that performs these procedures in The Woodlands area.

Acid Reflux Disease Surgery

Memorial Hermann The Woodlands offers breakthrough minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery that works to give the patient long-term relief from acid reflux disease without the need or expense of acid-reducing pills. The procedure involves reconfiguring the lower esophagus sphincter (the muscle connecting the esophagus to the stomach).

Gall Bladder Disease Surgery

It is estimated that 10 to 20 percent of American adults will develop gall stones. The gall bladder stores bile produced by the liver. Gallstones can form when bile contains too much cholesterol.

Gall bladder disease primarily affects women, but men can suffer from it too. If surgery is needed, the gall bladder and the stones are typically removed to reduce the chance that more stones would form. This is done laparoscopically with small incisions in the abdomen with patients going home the day after surgery and resuming normal activities within two weeks. Open surgery would involve a 9- to 18-centimeter incision and a much longer recovery time.  Additionally, single-port cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal) robotic-assisted surgery is available where just one tiny incision is made next to the belly button.