Over 70 million Americans live with some sort of digestive issue that causes them pain, irritation or ongoing discomfort. Because most digestive disorders and diseases are complex and can present very subtle symptoms, it’s important to find the right physician to help you get the answers you need.

Coliseum Medical Centers and Coliseum Northside Hospital have the diagnostic options, treatments and experience to help solve your digestive issue and improve your comfort and well-being.

We offer research-backed treatments and comprehensive, patient-centered care for a wide range of digestive and gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and diseases. Our state-of-the-art diagnostic testing options allow us to quickly diagnose and treat a wide range of intestinal disorders and cancers.

Call Consult-A-Nurse for more information and/or a physician referral at (478) 746-4646.

Digestive conditions and diseases we treat

We specialize in treating many digestive conditions and diseases, including:

  • Acid reflux
  • Appendicitis
  • Barrett's esophagus
  • Celiac disease
  • C. difficile infection
  • Colon cancer
  • Constipation
  • Crohn's disease (inflammatory bowel disease)
  • Diarrhea (acute)
  • Diarrhea (chronic)
  • Diverticulitis
  • Dysphagia
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gas in the digestive tract
  • Gallstone pancreatitis
  • Gastritis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Gastroparesis
  • Heartburn
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Indigestion
  • Inguinal hernia - adult
  • Inguinal hernia - child
  • Incontinence (fecal or bowel) - male
  • Incontinence (fecal or bowel) - female
  • Intestinal ischemia
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Liver cancer
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Peritonitis
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC)
  • Stomach cancer
  • Ulcers - stomach and duodenal (peptic ulcers)
  • Ulcerative colitis

Acid reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) consists of heartburn and acid reflux occurrences that happen at least three times a week and cannot be treated through dietary and other lifestyle changes alone.

Patients with GERD have a damaged lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This is the valve that sits at the bottom of the esophagus, closing off the esophagus from the stomach.

When the LES malfunctions, the valve does not close quickly enough, or at all, and allows the highly acidic digestive juices to rise up into the esophagus, ultimately resulting in heartburn and acid reflux.

If left untreated, serious complications can occur, such as inflammation and ulceration in the esophagus and difficulty swallowing. Chronic GERD has also been linked to Barrett's esophagus, a condition which can lead to esophageal cancer.

While medications are sometimes useful at reducing the pain associated with GERD, it often masks a larger problem. The only way to cure GERD is by repairing the LES with acid reflux surgery.

Causes of acid reflux:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Pregnancy
  • Eating a heavy meal and then lying down
  • Smoking
  • Consuming irritating foods or beverages, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, coffee, alcohol, spicy foods, fatty foods and carbonated drinks

Symptoms of reflux vary, and may include:

  • Burning in the throat or in the chest
  • Difficulty swallowing, or dysphagia
  • Chronic sore throat or cough
  • Hoarseness
  • Chest discomfort, specifically after eating or lying down
  • Regurgitation of stomach contents into throat or mouth

Surgical treatment for acid reflux

With minimally invasive surgery, our local surgeons are able to repair the ring of muscles that prevents stomach acid from backing up into the esophagus and causing acid reflux. The surgery is performed through tiny incisions in the abdomen, which results in a faster recovery and less pain for patients.

A variety of safe, effective reflux surgery options are available, including traditional fundoplication, transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) and bariatric surgery.

  • Traditional fundoplication surgery involves wrapping the upper part of the stomach around the esophagus and sewing it into place. The new, narrow passage serves as an anti-reflux valve.
  • Transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) has the same result as a traditional fundoplication, but without making incisions. The surgeon enters the stomach through the mouth and brings the stomach up around the esophagus to create the anti-reflux valve.
  • Bariatric surgery is an appropriate reflux treatment for some patients. Weight loss can reduce reflux symptoms.

Digestive diagnostic tests and treatments

To help diagnose and treat your digestive issue, our specialists use endoscopic instruments that show high-definition images, as well other proven therapies. Our digestive tests and treatments include:

  • Cancer treatment and surgery
  • Colonoscopy
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Small bowel capsule endoscopy
  • Small bowel enteroscopy
  • Upper endoscopy

Digestive surgery

Whenever possible, our surgeons use the least invasive methods for treating metabolic and gastroenterological conditions. Our digestive and gastrointestinal specialists work with surgeons and cancer specialists to provide surgical treatments for colorectal, gastrointestinal and pancreatic conditions in addition to other digestive ailments.

Committed to providing new innovations that improve patient care, Coliseum Health System surgeons are highly experienced in performing complex procedures to treat disorders and cancers of the stomach, esophagus and rectum in a minimally invasive manner.