HOUSTON (January 27, 2011)

Up to one-third of all adults suffer from Gastroesophageal RefluxDisease [GERD] at some point in their life. To better serve people suffering from reflux and other esophageal diseases, Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital will open an Esophageal Disease Center on Jan. 27.

"Our Esophageal Disease Center offers a multidisciplinary approach and will provide the most advanced diagnostic and treatment technology in Houston for reflux and other esophageal illnesses," said Michel Kafrouni, MD, gastroenterologist and co-director of the Memorial Hermann Southeast Esophageal Disease Center. "It is one of the first hospital-based centers of its kind in the Houston area."

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a serious health problem. If left untreated, it can lead to precancerous lesions and esophageal cancer, according to Farzaneh Banki, MD, director of the Esophageal Disease Center, and assistant professor of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

"Our Esophageal Disease Center offers state-of-the-art equipment and technology to help us diagnose patients quicker and help treat the problem more effectively," Dr. Banki said. Multidisciplinary services at the center include:

  • Diagnostic tools, including: videoesophagram, esophageal function studies, and esophageal pH assessments.
  • Endoscopic treatments, including: upper endoscopy and endoscopic ultrasound, endoscopic mucosal resection, BARRX mucosal ablation, balloon dilation and Botox injection for the treatment of achalasia.
  • Surgical treatments, including: laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication for the treatment of GERD and hiatal hernia, redo anti-reflux surgery for prior failed antireflux procedures, laparoscopic Heller myotomy for the treatment of achalasia, surgical treatment to improve esophageal complications in patients with scleroderma, laparoscopic diverticulectomy, minimally invasive esophagectomy, vagal-sparing esophagectomy, and transhiatal and transthoracic esophagectomy.

"The new Esophageal Disease Center reflects our hospital's commitment to providing high-quality medical and surgical care in the southeast Houston community, offering diagnoses and treatments that are uniquely tailored to each patient.," said Erin Asprec, CEO of Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital. "Our highly-skilled multidisciplinary team is committed to providing the best diagnosis and treatment options for patients suffering from reflux and other esophageal diseases." The Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital Esophageal Disease Center is located at 11800 Astoria Blvd., in the Outpatient Services Building.