Group Health gastroenterologists focus on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of problems of the digestive tract. They treat diseases and disorders of the esophagus, stomach, intestines, colon, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. The department's board-certified physicians — who include faculty at the University of Washington School of Medicine — offer the full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient gastrointestinal (GI) services, including such new technologies as the endoscopic ultrasound.
At Group Health, close links between primary care physicians and GI specialists mean patients with risk factors are quickly alerted for colorectal screenings. That's critical because colorectal cancer is one of the leading types of cancer in the United States. Group Health's GI department carefully reviews screening guidelines to reflect the latest research and shares this knowledge throughout our care system.
While we provide the latest technology when appropriate, we always consider less invasive procedures when the evidence warrants them. "We want people to be aware that colonoscopy alone is not the only option, and in fact carries some known complications," says Dr. Raymond Hsia, chief of gastroenterology. "Our recommendations include a variety of screening methods in accordance with the needs of each individual patient."
To learn more, see Stomach and Digestive Resources.
Michael Smith credits his Group Health care team, particularly gastroenterologist Thomas Ylvisaker, for saving his life by insisting on immediate surgery for a rare cancer called pseudomyxoma peritonei.
Education about cancer risks and symptoms lead Jean Brown to recognize a rare form of cancer.