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Hemorrhoid Treatment with the CRH O’Regan System

Category: Events, News

50% of the population will experience symptomatic hemorrhoids by the age of 50GastroIntestinal Specialists is now offering the CRH O’Regan System®. A simple, painless and effective way to treat hemorrhoids!

Hemorrhoids are nothing to be embarrassed about – in fact, about 50% of the population will suffer from them by the age of 50.

For many, ointments and creams will only mask symptoms to provide temporary relief. They do not address the root of the problem that is causing the pain, itching, bleeding, and overall discomfort.

If you’re serious about getting rid of hemorrhoids once and for all, it’s time to consider a definitive treatment.

The CRH O’Regan System®

The CRH O’Regan System® offers patients a painless, proven effective solution to the problems associated with hemorrhoids through a unique take on a procedure called hemorrhoid banding, or rubber band ligation.

Much less invasive than a surgical hemorrhoidectomy, hemorrhoid banding with the CRH O’Regan System®, is a simple treatment that can be performed in just minutes with little to no discomfort. There isn’t any prep or sedation and most patients are even able to return to work the same day.

How it Works

Gentle suction is used to place a small rubber band at the base of the hemorrhoid in an area where there aren’t any nerve endings. This only takes about 60 seconds. After a few days, the hemorrhoid will begin to shrink and fall off – you probably won’t even notice when it does!

Watch a video to learn more about the CRH O’Regan System®

To read more about how the CRH O’Regan System® can take care of your hemorrhoids once and for all, visit their website at www.crhsystem.com and call our office at (318) 631-9121 to schedule an appointment and get back to living a more comfortable life!

The CRH O’Regan System


Chronic Diarrhea: Target the Source

Category: Events, News

GastroIntestinal Specialist is please to announce the addition of the FilmArray® Gastrointestinal (GI) panel. The FilmArray panel tests for common GI pathogens including viruses, bacteria and parasites that cause infectious diarrhea. Symptoms of chronic diarrhea include:

  • Watery stools for more than 4 weeks
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Nausea, vomiting or both
  • Occasional muscle aches or headache
  • Low-grade fever

1 test. 22 GI pathogens. Faster Results.

GI Panel Menu

BACTERIA:

  • Campylobacter (jejuni, coli, and upsaliensis)
  • Clostridium difficile (toxin A/B)
  • Plesiomonas shigelloides
  • Salmonella
  • Yersinia enterocolitica
  • Vibrio (parahaemolyticus, vulnificus, and cholerae)
    • Vibrio cholerae

DIARRHEAGENIC E. COLI/SHIGELLA:

  • Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC)
  • Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC)
  • Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) lt/st
  • Shiga-like toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) stx1/stx2
    • E. coli O157
  • Shigella/Enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC)

PARASITES:

  • Cryptosporidium
  • Cyclospora cayetanensis
  • Entamoeba histolytica
  • Giardia lamblia

VIRUSES:

  • Adenovirus F40/41
  • Astrovirus
  • Norovirus GI/GII
  • Rotavirus A
  • Sapovirus (I, II, IV, and V)

For testing information, please call (318) 631-9121.


Congratulations Dr. Aguilar & the Louisiana Research Center

Category: Events, News

GIS congratulates Dr. Humberto Aguilar and the Louisiana Research Center for recently being published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal! The article was done on patients infected with chronic hepatitis C and cirrhosis.  Read the full article below:


Esophageal Cancer Awareness

Category: Events, News

Esophageal Cancer By: Sathya Jaganmohan, MD

Esophageal Cancer

The esophagus is a hollow organ that allows food to pass from the mouth to the stomach.  Cancer of the esophagus accounts for 1% of the cancers found in the US. This cancer is 3-4 times more common in men than in women.  Esophageal cancer is a dangerous disease with a 5 year survival rate from esophageal cancer is about 20%. 17000 patients are diagnosed with esophageal cancer every year. Squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma are the two common subtypes of esophageal cancer.

Causes of esophageal cancer

Smoking and acid reflux are the major causal factors in esophageal cancer.  Uncontrolled acid reflux causes changes in the inner lining of the esophagus that makes it precancerous( Barrett’s esophagus). Over time, this can progress to cancer. Many patients do not have typical symptoms of reflux and have symptoms such as cough, hoarseness, or constant need to clear the throat which may be a sign of silent reflux which should be evaluated. Other risk factors for esophageal cancer include excess alcohol consumption, diet that is poor in fruits and vegetables, drinking hot liquids and obesity.

Symptoms of esophageal cancer

The key point is to understand that early esophageal cancer may be asymptomatic. Early diagnosis is key to cure this disease. Initial symptoms may include reflux, heartburn, difficulty swallowing etc. but as the disease advances, symptoms such as weight loss, and choking on food occurs.

How can this cancer be prevented?

Lifestyle modifications – stop smoking, increase fruits and vegetables in diet, limit alcohol intake and maintain an ideal body weight may reduce the risk of esophageal cancer. If you have symptoms of acid reflux or have difficulty swallowing, consult with your doctor for evaluation.  Remember silent or atypical heartburn may cause cough, hoarseness, etc. without causing real heartburn or chest discomfort.

What is the latest in the treatment and prevention of esophageal cancer?

Early detection at the precancerous stage (Barrett’s esophagus) is possible with greater accuracy due to new techniques in obtaining samples and improvements in imaging,

Radiofreqency ablation is a new technique which has enabled us to use heat energy from radiofrequency waves to burn and cauterize the precancerous tissue in the esophagus. Endoscopic mucosal resection is  a technique where precancerous and early stages of cancer are removed during outpatient endoscopy without surgery. Cryotherapy is another new technique that enables use of cold energy to freeze and kill the precancerous cells in the esophagus and prevents development of esophageal cancer. All these diagnostic and treatment options are offered here at GIS.

Remember, simple acid reflux can cause esophageal cancer and may be preventable with early evaluation.

Talk to our Doctors about your concerns if:

  • You have more than occasional heartburn symptoms
  • You have experienced heartburn in the past, but the symptoms have gone away
  • You have any pain or difficulty swallowing
  • You have a family history of Barrett’s Esophagus or Esophageal Cancer
  • You have an ongoing, unexplained cough
  • You have been speaking with a hoarse voice over several weeks
  • You have a long lasting, unexplained sore throat
  • You cough or choke when you lie down

Call (318) 631-9121 to schedule an appointment or online here


Colon Cancer

Category: Events, News

Colon Cancer by: JoAnn E. Warrick, M.D.

Colon cancer is the 3rd most common cause of cancer, and it is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States.  It affects both men and women equally.  It is the most preventable of all types of cancer, and studies show that with regular screening approximately 60% of deaths can be prevented.  The reason it is preventable is that it invariably starts as an asymptomatic polyp, and with proper screening and removal, the progression to cancer is halted.  Studies also show that there is a 66% reduction  in progression to carcinoma in those undergoing a polypectomy.

Although the incidence of colon cancer has been slowly dropping due to increased adherence to screening, there is still a lifetime risk of 4.4% according to SEER data.  That means that 1 in 22 Americans will develop colon cancer in their lifetime.  The data also shows that approximately 75% of all new cases of cancer occur in those without predisposing factors.  Only about 5-10% of all colon cancer is familial.  The majority is sporadic meaning no identifiable family history.

Because the risk of colon cancer increases significantly after age 50, all current guidelines recommend screening to begin at age 50 for average risk persons, except in African Americans.  The American College of Gastroenterology recommends screening at age 45 in African Americans because they are being diagnosed at a younger average age than other groups. Screening is considered the standard of care and is a part of best practices.  Screening is not based on symptoms at all.  All asymptomatic persons who are average risk should be offered screening.

There are a variety of methods available for screening.  They include an annual fecal occult blood test, periodic flexible sigmoidoscopy, flexible colonoscopy, virtual CT colonography, a specialized stool DNA test (which examines the stool for exfoliated DNA which is a marker for advance polyps and colorectal cancer) and a recently approved serum marker for colorectal cancer.

The non-invasive screening tests typically do not screen for polyps, but instead screen for established colon cancer.  Although more invasive, colonoscopy screens for polyps and removes these lesions when detected, and it is also the gold standard.  Several studies including the national polyp study suggest that screening colonoscopy reduces the incidence of colon cancer from 76 to 90 percent.

Any of the screening tests mentioned meets the standard of care for screening and the choice of screening should be based on what is appropriate for the patient after an informed discussion of the pros and cons of each of the options.  Insurance typically pays for screening colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or fecal occult blood test.  The other screening tests are not typically covered by most insurances.


Catch Colon Cancer Early

Category: Events, News

Did you know that colon cancer is 90% curable if caught early?  All men and women should begin routine screening for colon cancer at age 50 or older (45 if African American).  If you have family history, you may need to be screened earlier!

Medicare and most insurance companies cover screening.  Call (318) 631-9121 to schedule a colonoscopy or click here.

Colon Cancer by: JoAnn E. Warrick, M.D.

Colon cancer is the 3rd most common cause of cancer, and it is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States.  It affects both men and women equally.  It is the most preventable of all types of cancer, and studies show that with regular screening approximately 60% of deaths can be prevented.  The reason it is preventable is that it invariably starts as an asymptomatic polyp, and with proper screening and removal, the progression to cancer is halted.  Studies also show that there is a 66% reduction  in progression to carcinoma in those undergoing a polypectomy.

Although the incidence of colon cancer has been slowly dropping due to increased adherence to screening, there is still a lifetime risk of 4.4% according to SEER data.  That means that 1 in 22 Americans will develop colon cancer in their lifetime.  The data also shows that approximately 75% of all new cases of cancer occur in those without predisposing factors.  Only about 5-10% of all colon cancer is familial.  The majority is sporadic meaning no identifiable family history.

Because the risk of colon cancer increases significantly after age 50, all current guidelines recommend screening to begin at age 50 for average risk persons, except in African Americans.  The American College of Gastroenterology recommends screening at age 45 in African Americans because they are being diagnosed at a younger average age than other groups. Screening is considered the standard of care and is a part of best practices.  Screening is not based on symptoms at all.  All asymptomatic persons who are average risk should be offered screening.

There are a variety of methods available for screening.  They include an annual fecal occult blood test, periodic flexible sigmoidoscopy, flexible colonoscopy, virtual CT colonography, a specialized stool DNA test (which examines the stool for exfoliated DNA which is a marker for advance polyps and colorectal cancer) and a recently approved serum marker for colorectal cancer.

The non-invasive screening tests typically do not screen for polyps, but instead screen for established colon cancer.  Although more invasive, colonoscopy screens for polyps and removes these lesions when detected, and it is also the gold standard.  Several studies including the national polyp study suggest that screening colonoscopy reduces the incidence of colon cancer from 76 to 90 percent.

Any of the screening tests mentioned meets the standard of care for screening and the choice of screening should be based on what is appropriate for a patient after an informed discussion of the pros and cons of each of the options.  Insurance typically pays for screening colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or fecal occult blood test.  The other screening tests are not typically covered by most insurances.


Be Aware of Hepatitis C

Category: Events, News

hcv_landingpage

Millions of Americans have Hepatitis C and half don’t know they are infected. People can live with the virus for decades without any symptoms. A blood test is the only way to know.  If left untreated, Hepatitis C can lead to liver damage, liver cancer, and ultimately liver failure. Treatments are available at GIS that can cure this disease. CDC recommends any born 1945-1965 get tested. Take charge of Hepatitis C! Call (318) 631-9121 to make an appointment.

Dr. David Dies Q&A: Hepatitis C

David F. Dies, MD, MBAHow big a problem is Hepatitis C infection?

In the United States, it is estimated that 3.2 million persons are infected with HCV. To put it into perspective, there are 2.8 million with breast cancer, 2.5 million with prostate cancer and 0.9 million with HIV, so there are more people with hepatitis C than these other significant diseases. Sadly, between 50-75% of people with HCV do not even know that they have it.

What are the potential long term consequences of hepatitis C?

Between 60-70% will develop chronic liver disease. Approximately 20% will develop cirrhosis after 20-30 years of infection. After progression to cirrhosis, several studies estimate that somewhere there is between a 1 to 5 per cent chance of liver cancer per year. Further, after a diagnosis of cirrhosis, up to 1/3 of patients will start to develop liver failure over the next 10 years.

What medical specialty cares for the Liver?

While there is overlap in all medical specialties, the main specialist for the liver is called a Hepatologist. There are specialized training programs and even board certification in Hepatology. The Liver Center at GastroIntestinal Specialists has two Board certified Hepatologists, Dr. Humberto Aguilar and myself.

Can Hepatitis C be cured?

Of course it can, but in the past it was very difficult. In the early days we used injections of interferon and probably cured no more than 9%. Later, we found other drugs to add to the interferon injections and the cure rate increased to over 50% of the patients we treated. However, interferon had a lot of side effects.

Studies suggest that only about 10% of all patients with hepatitis C have been treated. Many chose not to be treated due to the side effects of therapy. This has changed with the new direct acting antivirals (called DAA’s).

What are the new medications and how good do they work?

As stated, the new medicines are called DAA’s. DAA’s are pill (not injections) that can be taken without any interferon shots. Our research has shown that we can successfully cure over 95% of patients with pills: there is no longer a need for the interferon injections.  Our Liver center was recently recognized as the #2 prescriber of hepatitis medicine in the country. We have ongoing studies for even newer therapies for hepatitis C in our clinical research company, Louisiana Research Center.

What are the Side Effects of Treatment?

In the “old days” of interferon, patients basically felt like they had a bad case of the flu for 48 weeks. That is no longer the case as interferon will not be used much anymore. The newer therapies are pills initially given for just 12 weeks. Side effects of these pills are minor. It was the interferon that mainly gave the side effects.

When will the new medicines be released and when will they be available?

They are available now. There are several to choose from. More are expected to be released in 2017.

Do you treat other kinds of liver disease?

Yes! We are the only private clinic in North Louisiana that has board certified doctors in Liver Medicine. We provide care in liver transplant medicine, cirrhosis care, liver masses, liver drug reactions, fatty liver disease, genetic liver disease, autoimmune hepatitis and just about any liver condition. We also have a large hepatitis B clinic.

What have been the biggest obstacles?

Most patients (and even health care providers) do not understand that most liver diseases now have a cure – including hepatitis C! However, the highest chance of cure is when we treat early, when the numbers are not that high and there are no symptoms.

How can I make an appointment?

You can make an appointment by calling (318) 631-9121.

Dr. David Dies discusses Hepatitis C on KTBS Healthline 3. Watch the replay below. 


Crohn’s & Colitis Treatment

Category: Events, News

IBD_landingPg

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. It has two main conditions – ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Ulcerative colitis affects the colon and Crohn’s can affect any part of the GI tract from the mouth to the anus. Symptoms include: abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, weight loss, and loss of appetite. 

If you’re suffering from Crohn’s or Colitis or not responding to your current treatment, GIS can help.  Our research center has multiple drugs in development that can aid you in regaining control of your disease.  Call (318) 631-9121 to make an appointment

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Q&A with Dr. Aguilar

AguilarWhat is inflammatory bowel disease and how is it diagnosed?

Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract.  It has two main conditions – chronic ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.  Typically, it is diagnosed by endoscopy with some assistance of radiological techniques.  The difference between Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis is that ulcerative colitis only affects the colon and Crohn’s can affect any part of the GI tract from the mouth to the anus.

Do I have ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s and how to differentiate that?

The difference is that ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon and Crohn’s disease typically has a combined involvement of the small bowel and the colon, although Crohn’s can also affect the stomach and any part of the GI tract.  The way to tell the difference depends on the parts that are affected and the behavior of the disease.

What part of my intestine is affected?

Typically, Crohn’s affects any part of the GI tract but ulcerative colitis only the colon.

Could any other disease be causing my symptoms?

Typically, the most common presentation is bloody diarrhea, diarrhea and abdominal pain and, in young patients, weight loss.  The symptoms could be caused by a problem as simple as IBS and in the absence of bleeding sometimes it is very difficult to differentiate between IBD and IBS.

How is IBD different from IBS?  Can I have both?

The difference between IBD and IBS is IBD is chronic, usually persistent, is associated with bleeding, weight loss and is a more severe condition.  IBS tends to be mainly symptoms that are not associated with any alarm signs.  Some people with IBD do also have IBS and those two diseases can overlap.

How is IBD treated?

The treatment of IBD depends on the severity of the condition.  When the disease is mild, we can treat that with tablets but when the disease is more aggressive, we tend to use injectables that are called biologics, usually monoclonal antibodies that are designed to decrease inflammation that is causing this disease.

What are the potential side effects of the medicines? 

Regarding the potential side effects of the medication, first of all we need to say that the medications overall are extremely safe.  The risks for complications are small and infrequent and usually the benefits of the treatment outweigh the risks.

Diet?

Regarding diet, there are so many different diets that have been used throughout the years for IBD but none of those have proven to be consistently effective.  My behavior regarding diet is if the diet is not detrimental to the overall health of my patients, I let them try because of the potential benefits of the patient’s dedication to those diets but overall they have not been consistently shown to be effective.  There are some specific kinds of patients that will benefit from a low fiber diet but most of the time, diet is very well tolerated, especially patients with ulcerative colitis.

Smoking?

Regarding smoking, smoking has been noticed to be detrimental for patients with Crohn’s disease and maybe somewhat protective for the ulcerative colitis; however, the damage that smoking causes is much worse than any potential benefit in ulcerative colitis, so we always encourage patients to stop smoking.

What are the possible complications of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis?

Well, one of the most detrimental complications of this condition is colon cancer.  Chronic inflammatory changes are also associated with increased risk for colon cancer.  For that reason, it is recommended that when you have a duration of the disease for more than 8 – 10 years to undergo colonoscopies every other year.  Other complications are the development of abscess and perforations that would require surgery.

Will I need an operation and, if so, will the surgery cure my IBD?

About 30% of patients with IBD, especially with Crohn’s, undergo surgery within 5 – 10 years of the diagnosis of the disease.  In Crohn’s disease, surgery is not curative and in ulcerative colitis a total colectomy would be curative; however, there could be a relapse at the level of the anastomosis.  So, with surgery, you have a new beginning and at that time would tend to know that it is better to treat patients before the disease comes back.  Increase of colon cancer as already mentioned, but you have the duration of more than 8 – 10 years that increases the risk for colon cancer.

Treatment?

Regarding treatments, we have many treatment opportunities now.  We are doing high scientific research and we have many options for patients, so we will offer that to them. Call (318) 631-9121 to make an appointment.


Free Non-Surgical Weight Loss Information Session

Category: Events, News

Join us at a free information session.

The Nutrition & Weight Loss Center at GastroIntestinal Specialists is offering FREE information sessions about non-surgical weight loss options. Sessions are held on the 1st Tuesday of every month at 5:30 p.m.

Call (318) 213-3460 to register

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At our information session you will:

  • Meet our Registered Dietitian, Daniel Martin, who will guide you through your wellness and weight loss goals.
  • Discover how our medically managed weight loss programs can help you.  These programs focus on nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle optimization.
  • Learn about about the ORBERA Gastric Balloon, a safe non-surgical weight loss procedure performed in-house by our physicians, the local endoscopic experts.

When

October 4, 2016, 5:30 p.m.

November 1, 2016, 5:30 p.m.

December 6, 2016, 5:30 p.m.

Where

Shreveport Endoscopy Center Waiting Room

3217 Mabel Street, Shreveport, LA 71103

Rating
5 Stars

1 Review | Average Rating: 5

5 Stars

Excellent information! Great people

New Nutrition & Weight Loss Center

Category: Events, News

New horizons… GIS is proud to announce our newest business platform, the Nutrition and Weight Loss Center.

Healthy living – Better Choices – Finding the new you; all wrapped in a comprehensive program that is administered and managed by our in house Registered Dietitian and Care Plan Coordinator, guide you to success.

NutritionWeightLossCenterThe tenants of the Nutrition and Weight Loss Center are a combination of Wellness Programs, customized to fit your calendar and weight loss goals, in addition to offering non-surgical weight loss options.  Also available, our Registered Dietitian has carefully selected food products such as protein drinks, food bars and prepared meals to compliment your customized Nutrition Plan – those are available for purchase during visits to our offices or, online with shipment to your home for added convenience.

It is our belief that eating right, active exercise and an individual’s willingness to change are the keys to long term success! A new you! Package these with personalized nutrition plans, workout plans and personal self-help support while being administrated and managed by healthcare professionals, are what separate the Nutrition and Weight Loss Center from any other diet, workout plan or weight loss product you may have tried.

Please click here to visit the Nutrition & Weight Loss page to learn more. Or, call (318) 213-3460 to schedule an appointment today.