Gastrointestinal Conditions & Treatments

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The nationally and internationally recognized gastroenterologists at Houston Methodist Lynda K. and David M. Underwood Center for Digestive Disorders excel in the diagnosis and treatment of even the most complex digestive conditions.


Our experienced gastroenterologists and gastrointestinal surgeons use sophisticated, state-of-the-art imaging technologies to examine your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. By leveraging these advanced tools we are able to provide an accurate diagnosis and then design and deliver the most comprehensive treatment options.


Search or browse this complete list of all conditions and the treatment options we recommend.


Gastrointestinal Conditions & Treatments

  • AchalasiaAchalasia is a rare disease involving the muscles of the esophagus. It interferes with the passage of food and drink down the esophagus, causing regurgitation, vomiting or even chest pain.
  • Acid RefluxAcid reflux, also know as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), occurs when the valve in the lower esophagus (swallowing tube) does not close completely. Digestive acids in the stomach travel back up into the esophagus, causing inflammation and pain.
  • Acute PancreatitisAcute pancreatitis is characterized by a sudden, severe pain in the abdomen, which may last hours or days.
  • Alcohol-Induced Liver DiseaseThere are three types of alcohol-associated liver disease, and many individuals who consume alcohol heavily progress through these disease types over time: steatotic (fatty) liver, acute hepatitis and cirrhosis.
  • Anal CancerAnal cancer, also called colorectal cancer, occurs when your cells in your colon or rectum begin to grow out of control. Most start as polyps, which are growths on the lining of the colon or rectum, though not all polyps develop into cancer
  • Anorectal Manometry TestAn anorectal manometry is a test that evaluates the reflexes and the neurological and muscular portions of the rectum responsible for continence.
  • AppendicitisAppendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes inflamed and filled with pus. Appendicitis causes pain in your lower right abdomen.
  • Asthma Associated With GERDAsthma and acid reflux often occur together. Acid reflux can worsen asthma and asthma can worsen acid reflux — especially severe acid reflux, a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Barrett's EsophagusBarrett's Esophagus is a condition where the esophagus becomes damaged by acid reflux.
  • Bile Duct CancerBile duct cancer, also called cholangiocarcinoma, is a rare but aggressive type of cancer that forms in the slender tubes (bile ducts) that carry the digestive fluid bile.
  • Biliary CirrhosisAn autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation in your bile ducts that can lead to liver damage.
  • Biliary Tract DiseaseA number of disorders can affect the pancreas and biliary tract, including acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, hereditary pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and biliary cirrhosis.
  • Blocked IntestineWhen digested material is prevented from passing normally through the bowel.
  • Capsule EndoscopyA type of endoscopy in which a camera is placed inside a pill-sized capsule that you swallow. The camera takes pictures of your small intestine, which is harder to reach and assess with an upper endoscopy.
  • Carcinoid or Neuroendocrine TumorsThese tumors generally develop in the gastrointestinal tract, in the stomach or intestines, or in the lungs. Carcinoid tumors can be slow to grow and patients may not have any obvious symptoms.
  • Cardiac MRIProvides detailed, real-time images of your heart and vascular system without using radiation.
  • Celiac DiseaseCeliac disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. This reaction damages the small intestine's lining and prevents it from absorbing some nutrients.
  • CholecystitisInflammation of the gallbladder, a small, digestive organ beneath the liver.
  • Chronic PancreatitisThe most common symptom of chronic pancreatitis is repeated episodes of abdominal pain, which can be severe.
  • CirrhosisCirrhosis is scarring of the liver caused by continuous, long-term liver damage. Scar tissue replaces healthy tissue in the liver and prevents the liver from working properly.
  • ColitisColitis is a chronic digestive disease characterized by inflammation of the inner lining of the colon, often autoimmune or infectious.
  • Colon CancerA cancer of the colon or rectum, which may begin as noncancerous polyps.
  • ColonoscopyA colonoscopy screening is the number one tool to help detect early signs of cancer. It allows doctors to remove polyps that over time can become cancerous.
  • Colorectal CancerColorectal cancer, also called anal cancer, occurs when your cells in your colon or rectum begin to grow out of control. Most start as polyps, which are growths on the lining of the colon or rectum, though not all polyps develop into cancer.
  • Colorectal Cancer SurgeryColorectal surgeons most frequently manage and treat disorders of the rectum, anus, and colon.
  • Crohn's DiseaseCrohn´s disease is an extreme case of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), generally occurring at the end of the small intestine and making the digestive tract prone to sores and ulcers.
  • Digestive DisordersCommon digestive disorders include gastroesophageal reflux disease, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance and hiatal hernia.
  • Digestive SurgeryHouston Methodist specializes in surgically treating diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, including gallstones and other disorders of the biliary tract, intestinal cancers, hernias, inflammatory bowel disease, liver and pancreatic cancers, gastroesophageal reflux disease and other disorders of the esophagus, bariatric surgery and other stomach-related disorders.
  • Diverticulitis & Diverticular DiseaseDiverticulitis occurs at weak points in the wall of the large intestine (colon), which can cause pain, infection or the need for emergency surgery.
  • Dyspepsia (Indigestion)Dyspepsia describes recurring symptoms of an upset stomach. Indigestion is an umbrella term for a group of gastrointestinal symptoms that occur together, including pain, a burning feeling or discomfort in your upper abdomen.
  • DysphagiaDysphagia is a term that describes difficulty swallowing (i.e., taking more time and effort to move food or liquid from the mouth to the stomach).
  • ElectrogastrographyElectrogastrography can determine if abnormal electric activity of the stomach is causing nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain.
  • Endocrine SurgeryOur surgeons partner with endocrinologists, nephrologists, oncologists, radiologists and pathologists to treat diseases and disorders of the thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas and adrenal glands.
  • EndoscopyAn upper endoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure that assesses the upper digestive system and the interior surfaces of the esophagus and stomach.
  • Esophageal CancerA disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the esophagus. Smoking, heavy alcohol use, and Barrett esophagus can increase the risk of this cancer.
  • Esophageal ManometryAn esophageal manometry test diagnoses muscular disorders of the esophagus for patients. This test is recommended for unexplained chest pain, heartburn or pain or difficulty when swallowing.
  • Esophageal StricturesAn esophageal stricture is an abnormal tightening or narrowing of the esophagus that makes it difficult to swallow
  • Esophageal WebAn esophageal web is a thin, fibrous, mucous membrane that forms across the throat and may cause difficulty swallowing.
  • EsophagitisEsophagitis is inflammation that damages the tube running from your throat to the stomach (esophagus) causing difficulty swallowing and chest pain with eating.
  • GallstonesGallstones are small, pebble-like stone particles of cholesterol or calcium salts that form from bile in the gallbladder.
  • Gastroenterology & GI SurgeryThe study of the normal function and diseases of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and liver.
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a serious condition that occurs when a valve in the esophagus does not close completely, causing stomach acid to travel back up into the esophagus. Warning signs can include a burning sensation in the back of the mouth, a fowl taste in your mouth and heartburn.
  • HeartburnHeartburn is a common condition that occurs when stomach acid is forced back up the esophagus. When this happens, a feeling of warmth or burning may occur in the chest.
  • HepatitisHepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that can be caused by a variety of infectious viruses and noninfectious agents.
  • HerniaA hernia occurs when tissue inside the body pushes through a weak section in the muscle of the abdomen or groin.
  • Hiatal HerniaA hiatal hernia occurs when the stomach bulges into the chest.
  • Impedance pH TestThe 24-hour impedance pH (nasal catheter) probe test detects reflux activity. This test allows for the detection of both acid and nonacid reflux in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) while the patient is on or off acid-suppressive therapy.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) occurs because of chronic inflammation of the digestive tract.
  • Lactose IntoleranceLactose intolerance is the body´s inability to digest the milk sugar (called lactose) found in dairy products.
  • Liver CancerLiver cancer is a disease in which cells in the liver grow out of control.
  • Liver DiseaseAny condition (including hepatitis, cirrhosis and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease) that damages the liver and prevents it from functioning well.
  • Necrotizing ColitisA serious but rare disease that occurs when part of your colon dies.
  • Necrotizing PancreatitisAn extreme complication of acute pancreatitis that occurs when part of your pancreas dies.
  • Neurogenic BowelThe loss of normal bowel function due to an injury to the nervous system, such as from spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis or spina bifida.
  • Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) covers a wide range of liver conditions affecting people who drink little to no alcohol. The main characteristic of NAFLD is too much fat stored in liver cells.
  • Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)Liver inflammation and damage caused by a buildup of fat in the liver. It is part of a group of conditions called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
  • Pancreatic & Biliary DiseasesPancreatic and biliary disease encompass complex disorders of the pancreas, organs and ducts that facilitate digestion.
  • Pancreatic CancerPancreatic cancer occurs when the cells that line the ducts of the pancreas grow out of control, which is called pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
  • PancreatitisPancreatitis is inflammation within the pancreas. Pancreatitis can occur suddenly (acute) or gradually (chronic). Disease severity can be mild and may not require treatment at all; however, severe pancreatic damage can occur, leading to a life-threatening condition.
  • Peptic UlcerA peptic ulcer is a sore on the lining of your stomach, small intestine or esophagus.
  • Short Bowel Syndrome or Small Bowel DiseaseDevelops when the small intestine, or small bowel, is shortened or damaged and cannot absorb enough nutrients from food to maintain health.
  • Small Bowel ManometryA small bowel manometry test analyzes how well the muscles and nerves of the small intestine work in propelling liquid or food through the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Stomach & Esophageal CancersStomach (gastric) and esophageal (feeding tube) cancers develop when cells that make up the lining of the stomach and esophagus grow at an abnormal rate.
  • Stomach CancerCancers of the stomach usually start in the inner lining (adenocarcinomas). Esophageal cancer arises when cells that make up the tissue lining the esophagus grow out of control.
  • Stomach UlcerUlcers in the digestive tract are open sores of various sizes that won’t heal.
  • Ulcer DiseasesAn ulcer is, essentially, an open sore that is found on the mucous layer (inner lining) of the body’s various organs. The mucous layer protects the organ or gland.
  • Ulcerative ColitisUlcerative colitis is among the most common types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is a form of chronic inflammation in the large intestine of the digestive tract causing abdominal pain and diarrhea.
  • Wilson DiseaseWilson disease is a rare, inherited multisystem disorder that affects the liver, nervous system, eyes and other vital organs. The root cause is the presence of excess copper and the inability to excrete it.