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Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition has a long tradition of excellence in clinical practice, education and research, and remains dedicated to this pursuit of excellence. The scope of clinical operations and faculty expertise cover the entire spectrum of gastrointestinal health and diseases. Special programs focus on esophageal disorders, gastrointestinal cancer, women's health, inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal failure, obesity, pancreatic disorders, fatty liver disease, viral hepatitis and liver transplantation and are part of some of the premiere services offered here at VCU Medical Center.
Along with a cutting-edge seven-room endoscopy suite, the hepatology program remains one of the premier programs in the country. The GI section at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, traditionally strong in basic research, has developed several innovative clinical programs including endoscopic ultrasound, liver transplantation and telemedicine. A multifaceted educational program for medical students, residents, fellows, community physicians and other gastroenterologists exists and has been further strengthened.
The NIH-funded academic training program, which has produced numerous leaders in the field of gastroenterology and hepatology, has remained continuously funded for 30 years. The impact of this division on the state-of-the-art of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition continues to be strong and can be assessed by both the quality and number of publications as well as the level of NIH funding.
Numerous faculty members have research funding from the NIH and/or the Department of Veterans Affairs. Thus, the division remains strong and committed to being a fertile breeding ground for future leaders in gastroenterology.
Below you will find the sub-specialties and the clinic locations of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition .
The Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Division has six main sub-specialties. One of the major strengths of this division is the level of clinical expertise across all of the major areas of these sub-specialties. Below you will find the following sub-specialties:
The Alvin M. Zfass Endoscopy Unit is a state of the art facility providing both routine and advanced endoscopic care to over 7000 patients annually. The primary mission of the endoscopy unit is to deliver high quality, compassionate endoscopic care in both inpatient and outpatient settings. The endoscopy unit also serves to implement, evaluate and develop new endoscopic technologies and techniques. Finally, the unit serves as the primary location for endoscopic training of both gastroenterology fellows and surgical residents.
A wide variety of endoscopic procedures are performed. These include routine procedures such as upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy. Advanced endoscopic procedures such as pancreaticobiliary endoscopy (ERCP), endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), balloon enteroscopy and videocapsule endoscopy are also commonly performed. Currently, the unit is also performing a wide variety of ablative techniques for patients with Barrett's esophagus with either early esophageal cancer or at high risk for developing cancer. The unit offers both the broadest array of techniques and experience in the state of Virginia. Current techniques include endoscopic mucosal resection, radiofrequency ablation and cryotherapy techniques using both liquid nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Finally, several novel technologies for advanced mucosal imaging are offered including confocal microscopy (to evaluate for early dysplastic changes in Barrett's esophagus and inflammatory bowel disease) and direct cholangioscopy (to evaluate the biliary tract).
In addition to endoscopic techniques, a number of procedures are available to assess digestive physiology as it relates to various digestive disorders. These include high resolution esophageal manometry and esophageal topography and anorectal manometry. Esophageal function can be further evaluated with esophageal pH monitoring using either a standard catheter-based electrode or an endoscopically placed radiotelemetry sensor (Bravo). Finally, non-acid reflux can be measured using multichannel intraluminal impedance testing.
The section of advanced therapeutic endoscopy offers all advanced endoscopic procedures, including advanced endoscopic imaging (confocal endomicroscopy, narrow band imaging, chromoendoscopy), endoscopic mucosal ablation (carbon dioxide cryotherapy, radiofrequency ablation), endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR), endoluminal stenting, endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS), EUS-guided FNA, EUS-guided interventions (pseudocyst drainage, celiac plexus block, rendezvous procedures, etc.), diagnostic and therapeutic ERCP (including ampullectomy, sphincter of oddi manometry, pediatric ERCP, papillotomy, cholangioscopy).
The Advanced Liver Program is staffed by nationally and internationally renowned hepatologists who work hard to develop novel treatments for more than 100 diseases known to affect the liver. Such a range of conditions requires an equally diverse group of specialists equipped with experience, knowledge and clinical skills needed to ensure treatment success and advance treatment practices. Some of the most relevant conditions treated by the program include:
Our physicians at the Hume-Lee Transplant Center have been pioneers in both the treatment of liver diseases and liver transplantation. Their dedication to offering transplantation and other treatment options for those with End Stage Liver Disease is paramount to the successes found at VCU Medical Center.
Offering expert and compassionate care, the Center for Digestive Health at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center takes the best of innovative science, cutting-edge technology, creative teaching and clinical application to improve patient outcomes. Through an integrated, comprehensive and patient-centered network, our health care providers are dedicated to advancing digestive health treatments for the well-being of patients in the commonwealth of Virginia and beyond.
The Center for Digestive Health’s team of multidisciplinary specialists — including a dedicated radiologist and pathologist — offers cutting-edge medical and surgical treatments for a variety of digestive health illnesses. We provide professional services for women’s health, pediatrics and IBD patients; colon, rectal, bariatric, hepatobiliary, upper gastrointestinal and pancreatic surgery; and gastrointestinal nutrition.
One of our major strengths is the level of clinical expertise across all major areas of digestive health, including:
The VCU Medical Center’s Pancreatitis Clinic is dedicated to treating patients and promoting research on pancreatitis and other pancreatic disorders. The Pancreatitis Clinic provides patients with access to the most experienced pancreatitis team in the area, the benefit of innovative therapies and access to research/clinical trials, which improve the quality of care in the community, the nation and the world. The clinic is comprised of a team of experts from multiple specialties including gastroenterology, transplant surgery, hematology-oncology, surgical oncology, radiology, radiation oncology, interventional radiology, registered dietitians, research certified registered nurses, clinic research specialist as well as a full administrative support staff. This vast team of specialists offers cutting edge therapies including:
The Pancreatitis Clinic welcomes both internal and external referrals to the clinic.
The GI-Nutrition team at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center is committed to excellence in patient care, education, and research. This experienced team is supported by gastroenterology and hepatology physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses certified in nutrition support, and dietitians in outpatient and inpatient setting. The GI-Nutrition team provides comprehensive patient care, develops individualized nutrition therapy, and offers nutrition counseling and education to the patients and their families. This team specializes in the evaluation and management of malnutrition, failure to thrive, short bowel syndrome, intestinal failure and rehabilitation, short and long term TPN. The team has expertise in the medical management of obesity and post gastric bypass nutrition support, nutrition support in complex patients with cirrhosis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, enterocutaneous fistula, ostomy as well common and rare macro-and micronutrient deficiencies. This team also offers enteral tube feeding support in outpatient and inpatient setting. Additionally, GI-nutrition team is a useful resource supporting other services including bariatric surgery, medical and surgical oncology, bone marrow and solid organ transplant, and primary care providers. The GI-Nutrition team is dedicated to serving our community and keeping with the Division’s tradition of excellence.
The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition conducts forefront research in the following areas:
Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
1200 E Broad Street
West Hospital, 14th Floor
Richmond, VA 23298-0341
Phone: (804) 828-4060
Fax: (804) 828-5348
John Kuemmerle, MD
Richmond, VA 23298-0111
Phone: (804) 828-4060
Phone: (804) 828-9173