Specialized care for Upper Gastrointestinal Issues
Eliminating your discomfort with the latest treatment options
Any discomfort in your stomach or esophagus (the tube your food passes through to get to the stomach) could be a symptom of an upper gastrointestinal (GI) problem. Once we detect its cause, we offer the latest proven treatment options to give you relief.
Common upper GI conditions we treat
Gastroesophageal reflux, more commonly known as acid reflux, is the result of stomach contents flowing back up into your esophagus. Your symptoms may include chronic heartburn that may disturb your sleep, a sour taste in the mouth, hoarseness, voice changes, dry coughing and chest pain. Left untreated, it can turn into a more serious disease.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that results in inflammation or irritation of the small intestine caused by the ingestion of a type of protein called gluten, found in wheat and related grains. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea among many others. Some people have gluten intolerance or sensitivity without having Celiac disease, and experience similar reactions to gluten.
This condition has no specific symptoms beyond those associated with acid reflux. It is a complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and transforms normal tissue into tissue resembling the lining of the intestine. Because it poses a risk for esophageal cancer, once it is diagnosed it is important to have it treated and have routine exams thereafter.
These sores, which occur in the lining of the stomach or upper part of the small intestine, are often caused by a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). Drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen can also cause an ulcer to develop. Typical symptoms include dull or burning abdominal pain that comes and goes and is relieved by eating or taking antacids.
Pain while swallowing, the sensation of food becoming stuck in the throat or chest, regurgitating food and other problems are considered swallowing difficulties – or “dysphagia” – that should be addressed by a physician.
Our state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatment procedures
We provide most of our treatments in our offices or in our accredited ambulatory surgery center – the only one of its kind in Hunterdon County.
Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)
Dr. Cherag Daruwala developed the endoscopic ultrasound program at Hunterdon Gastroenterology Associates and is the only expert in this procedure in our central New Jersey Area. During the exam, we use a thin, flexible tube with an ultrasound device at its tip to examine and/or take biopsies from the lining of the esophagus, stomach, beginning of the small intestine pancreas and rectum. Our physicians also perform comprehensive, traditional endoscopic tests and treatments for a wide variety of upper gastrointestinal conditions.
This test involves a thin, pressure-sensitive catheter that we expertly place through the nose and into the esophagus in order to plan surgery for gastroesophageal reflux disease and to evaluate certain swallowing difficulties.
Bravo pH Capsule Test
Like the 24-hour pH test, this test is used to detect whether your heartburn is the result of acid reflux. In this catheter-free procedure, we use an endoscope to place a capsule in the lining of your esophagus that collects information and wirelessly transmits it to a small recorder you wear for several days. You can maintain all your regular activities during the testing period. The small device will dislodge and travel through your intestinal system to be eliminated naturally.
24-hour pH test
We use this test to assess the pH levels in your esophagus to determine the cause of your heartburn. We insert a small device through a tiny catheter into your esophagus that will send radio signals whenever you experience heartburn to a monitor you’ll wear for 24 hours.
We do this dilation procedure to stretch out the affected portion of your esophagus when it has narrowed (most commonly due to scarring from acid reflux) and causes you, off and on, to experience the sensation that food is stuck in your throat.
Hydrogen Breath Test
A Hydrogen Breath Test is used to measure exhaled hydrogen that may be altered in disease state of lactose and fructose malabsorption. It can also be used to diagnose Bacterial Overgrowth Syndrome.
BARRX™ Ablation (formerly HALO)
For Barrett’s Esophagus, we use a short endoscopic procedure called the BARRX™ ablation technique to remove affected tissue in the esophagus. This provides a good alternative to the traditional wait-and-watch protocol for patients with abnormal cells. We administer sedation according to your overall medical condition so you feel no pain during the procedure.
Don’t wait to find relief from your upper gastrointestinal condition. If you are having a GI problem or pain, schedule an appointment.