Gastrointestinal (GI) services in Virginia
HCA Virginia's hospitals provide dedicated, complete care for conditions and diseases of your GI tract. Our expert clinicians include gastroenterologists, GI surgeons and other digestive health specialists. As a team, they work closely to ensure you're properly diagnosed and given access to innovative and minimally invasive treatments.
For more information about our primary care services or for help finding a doctor, call our free, 24/7 Consult-A-Nurse line.
Comprehensive gastric and digestive care
As part of our commitment to your GI health, we provide several dedicated care centers and programs. This includes:
- The Colon & Rectal Surgery Program at Retreat Doctor's Hospital—specialized in preventive, diagnostic and surgical treatments for conditions of the colon, rectum and anus
- The Hernia Center at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital—specialized in hernia repairs using minimally invasive technology
Digestive disorders we treat
Our GI services involve treatments for conditions that affect the digestive system. This includes the esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, colon and rectum.
Some of the GI conditions we treat include:
- Abdominal pain and ulcers
- Acid reflux
- Anal condyloma
- Anal fissures
- Anal fistulae
- Bowel obstructions
- Colon polyps
- Colorectal cancer
- Crohn's disease
- Diseases of the bile duct or pancreas
- Fecal incontinence or outlet obstructions
- Gallbladder disease
- Gastric, duodenal and peptic ulcers
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- GI bleeding
- GI cancer
- Epigastric hernia
- Femoral hernia
- Hiatal hernia
- Incisional (surgical) hernia
- Inguinal hernia
- Ventral hernia
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Rectal prolapse
- Stomach pain
- Swallowing difficulty
- Tumors of the GI tract
- Ulcerative colitis
Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. The best way to detect colon cancer in its earliest stages is through screenings. When detected early, colon cancer is highly treatable, which is why our hospitals offer colonoscopies to screen for colon cancer.
Colon cancer screenings
It is typically suggested that colon cancer screenings begin at 50 years old and continue in regular intervals moving forward. Although, if you have certain risk factors, such as IBD or a family history of the disease, talk to your doctor about when you should be screened.
Heartburn is a symptom of a condition known as "acid reflux." It is caused by a backup of stomach acid or other contents into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation. Frequent heartburn and chronic acid reflux can develop into GERD. This disease can lead to serious health complications, such as esophageal cancer, but it can be easily treated if diagnosed early on.
Symptoms of GERD
In addition to heartburn, symptoms of GERD may include:
- Asthma, wheezing or chronic bronchitis
- Bitter taste in the mouth
- Chronic sore throat or cough
- Difficulty sleeping while lying flat or after eating
- Difficulty swallowing food
- Regurgitation of fluid or food into the throat or mouth
- Suddenly waking from sleep to find yourself choking, coughing or unable to breathe adequately
At our hospitals, we take a comprehensive approach to treating GERD. We provide diagnostic pH monitoring of the acid/alkaline balance and manometry testing of digestive muscle conditions.
We also offer treatments with endoscopy, radiofrequency ablation and minimally invasive surgery. However, acid reflux can often be managed through diet, lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medication. We will work with you to find the treatment that is right for you.
A hernia is a hole or defect in the abdominal muscle wall which allows internal tissue to protrude, usually creating a visible bulge. This hole can occur anywhere that the muscle wall is weak or subject to strain.
Hernias do not go away on their own—surgery is the only treatment option. Our surgical treatments for hernias include:
- Abdominal wall reconstruction
- Inguinal and femoral hernia repair
- Ventral hernia repair
Diagnostic gastroenterology procedures
- Blood fecal tests
- Colonoscopy (uses a lighted, flexible scope with a tiny camera to view the entire colon)
- Computed tomography (CT) scan
- Fecal tests
- Lower GI series (barium enema) (X-ray examination of the large intestine; uses barium as a contrast agent)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
- Upper GI series (X-ray of the upper digestive tract, lower esophagus, stomach and upper small bowel)
Treatments for GI conditions
Whenever possible, we will do our best to treat your condition without surgery. There are many diet and lifestyle changes as well as medications that can help or heal GI conditions. However, sometimes surgery is the best solution. In these cases, our experienced GI surgeons use advanced surgical technologies , including minimally invasive robotic surgery systems. These systems offer numerous benefits to patients. For example, patients typically experience shorter hospital stays, less scarring and quicker recoveries with robotic surgery.
Our colon and rectal surgical programs offer comprehensive services for preventing, detecting and treating disorders of the colon, rectum and anus. This includes advanced technology, new therapies and minimally invasive surgical options.
Our colorectal surgical services include:
- Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR)
- Laparoscopic colon and rectal surgeries
- Large colon polyp resection
- Restorative proctocolectomies for the small intestine and anus
- Small tumor ablation
- Specialist collaborations to perform:
- Pelvic floor reconstruction
- Rectal prolapse repairs
- Vaginal prolapse repairs
Endoscopy is a type of procedure that allows physicians to visualize the internal organs, including the esophagus, stomach and intestines. Endoscopy is performed using an endoscope, which is a long, thin tube with a camera on the tip.
Endoscopies are useful to investigate GI problems, such as pain in the stomach or abdomen, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, indigestion, tumors and ulcers. Endoscopy can also be used as a treatment for colorectal conditions, such as removing polyps or taking tissue samples for analysis.
Our hospitals offer a variety of endoscopic procedures, including endoscopic colonoscopy, retrograde cholangiopancreatography and upper GIs.
Endoscopies are performed as outpatient procedures, allowing you to return to your daily life as quickly as possible.