Gastroenterology

At Porter Adventist Hospital, we have created a center that provides a single location where you can come with your GI health issue to get comprehensive testing, diagnosis, and a customized treatment plan built by a multi-specialty group of physicians, nurses, and a GI support team. 

Location
2525 S Downing St
Denver, CO, 80210
Fax: 303-260-2741
Distance:

Our Services

If you are struggling with acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome or another digestive disorder, our gastroenterologists can unravel the mystery of your problem and provide you with the right treatment — all in one center. Our physicians and their support teams are experts at diagnosing and treating your gut health issues from routine heartburn and constipation to complex pancreatitis and digestive tract cancers all from the center of Denver. We are the first in Colorado to offer screening colonoscopy that using artificial intelligence to help improve the detection of potentially dangerous polyps. We also are the only therapeutic endoscopic center in the state to offer several advanced endoscopy procedures utilizing the most up to date technology.

Center for Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopy

Gastroenterology

Center for Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopy

If you or a loved one has a complex digestive disease, you’ll want your doctor to refer you to Porter’s Center for Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopy (CATE). Here, renowned GI doctors specially recruited for this Center offer advanced procedures, including some that are unavailable anywhere else in Colorado. Located in a new state-of-the-art facility featuring four operating rooms and the latest technology, this endoscopy center offers hope for patients by providing university-level expertise in an easy-to-navigate, community hospital setting.

At the heart of the center is transparent communication with patients and their referring physicians. Our gastroenterologists provide you with the precise path they will take to make your diagnosis and treatment plan, clearly communicating what is needed and answering all your questions. All testing can be conducted in the center, so there is no need for you to coordinate multiple appointments or have to travel to several locations to get the information needed. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, your CATE physician will discuss treatment options with you while also communicating with your referral provider who knows your health history. After your treatment, you will return to the care of your referral provider with confidence that the details of your disease, treatment, and all follow-up information has been shared among all your providers. 

The gastroenterologists at CATE also provide second opinions for patients who haven’t found answers to what is causing their symptoms or are unsure about the path forward after being diagnosed. If you are interested in a second opinion, we recommend you discuss this with your current primary care provider or call us. 

To learn more about CATE and whether we can help you, please call our nurse navigator at 303-765-3581.

While CATE is located in within Porter, it offers service that parallels or exceeds what you find at academic medical centers. The gastroenterologists at CATE are professors at Denver medical schools teaching and mentoring medical students, residents, and therapeutic endoscopy fellows — who also provide patient care at CATE under the close eye and supervision of our GI specialists. In addition, these gastroenterologists, students, and residents/fellows undertake research to continue advancing care for patients with digestive diseases.

Gastroenterologists at CATE provide an extensive range of highly specialized procedures to treat your complex digestive disease, including many types of GI cancers. 

  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)
  • EUS fine needle aspiration
  • EUS core biopsy
  • Single balloon enteroscopy
  • Celiac plexus block/neurolysis
  • Cholangioscopy
  • Pancreatoscopy
  • Endoscopic mucosal resection
  • Endoscopic submucosal dissection
  • EUS guided liver biopsy
  • EUS guided portal pressure measurement
  • EUS guided bile duct drainage
  • Pancreatic pseudocyst drainage
  • Pancreatic necrosectomy
  • Radio frequency ablation — esophageal, gastric, biliary
  • Endoscopy cyst gastrostomy
  • Endoscopic gastrojejunostomy
  • Endoscopic gallbladder drainage
  • EUS fiducial placement
  • Esophageal stent placement
  • Gastric stent placement
  • Duodenal stent placement
  • Colonic stent placement
  • Gastric peroral endoscopic myotomy
  • Esophageal peroral myotomy
  • Endoscopic suturing
  • Endobariatrics
  • Fistula closure
  • Enteral feeding tube placement
  • Endoscopic treatment of Zenker's diverticulum (i.e., endoscopic Zenker's diverticulotomy)
  • Endoscopic pouch revisions for Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
  • Endoscopic therapy of bariatric surgery complications
  • Gastric per oral endoscopic myotomy
  • Esophageal per oral endoscopic myotomy
  • Endoscopic gastrojejunostomy

We welcome referring provider inquiries on complex cases and are committed to providing a rapid response to your needs and a high level of communication about your patients. We always coordinate care with referring providers and refer patients back to the referring provider following treatment at our center. To make a referral to the Center for Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopy, referring physician offices should call 303-270-2740.

If you are a patient and would like to learn more, please call our Nurse Navigator at 303-765-3581.

Center for Heartburn and Reflux

Gastroenterology

Center for Heartburn and Reflux

Whether you’re experiencing your first bout of heartburn or you’ve suffered from acid reflux for years without finding a solution, the expert gastroenterologists and GI surgeons at the Porter Center for Heartburn and Reflux Treatment (CHRT) in Denver are here to help. The center contains everything needed in one location to provide you with a diagnosis and a customized treatment plan. Most importantly, our physicians are trained in different disciplines and work together to coordinate your care, removing the difficulty and inconvenience that many patients face when trying to get help for a complex GI problem.

We treat a wide variety of GI conditions, including acid reflux, heartburn, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), swallowing problems, and gastroparesis (a condition that prevents the stomach from emptying). Acid reflux, which can result in heartburn or have no symptoms, is a common condition that is not always easy to recognize and treat. GERD is a severe form of acid reflux. 

While medication is the most common treatment, it doesn’t work for about four in 10 patients. And even when medications control your reflux symptoms, the underlying cause is not being addressed. Without treatment or intervention, acid reflux can cause esophageal inflammation, narrowing, pre-cancer (Barrett’s esophagus), and sometimes cancer. Esophageal cancer is the fastest growing cancer being diagnosed today. Because symptoms are either masked or don’t show up until late in the disease, esophageal cancer often is diagnosed in advanced stages. 

In addition to damaging your esophagus, GERD also can damage other organs, including your lungs, sinuses, and vocal cords. Sometimes GERD doesn’t cause traditional heartburn but instead shows up as asthma or lung inflammation.

Are you experiencing heartburn or reflux? Answer a few short questions and our team will reach out to discuss your condition.

An accurate diagnosis of the specific type of reflux you are experiencing is important to determine the best course of treatment. At Porter’s Center for Heartburn and Reflux, gastroenterologists use a variety of advanced diagnostic tests, including: 

  • Esophagramt 
  • EGD (Esophagogastroduodenoscopy)
  • PH Probe and Bravo Study
  • Manometry
  • WATs Testing
  • Smart Pill Study

For most patients, reflux and its symptoms can initially be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. The most common type of medications used to treat acid reflux are called proton pump inhibitors (PPI). You can get these medications without a prescription or stronger doses with a prescription. PPIs work by blocking and reducing the production of stomach acid, giving your esophagus time to heal. While PPIs are effective, they should not be used more than a few times a year for more than a few weeks at a time. If you are using PPIs on an ongoing basis, you need to see a physician to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.

In some cases, patients experiencing GERD will need more than medications and lifestyle changes to cure the problem. In these instances, your gastroenterologist will work with the CHR surgeons who are specially trained in treating GERD and other digestive diseases. These surgeons perform different types of foregut surgery, including some advanced procedures that are not available in most communities in Colorado. We offer all types of surgery, including many minimally invasive procedures such as:

  • Laparoscopic large hiatal hernia repair 
  • LINX surgery
  • Laparoscopic Heller myotomy and Achalasia POEM
  • Transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF)
  • Zenkers POEM for Zenkers diverticulum
  • Gastric POEM
  • Endoscopic resection
  • Minimally invasive esophagectomy and gastrectomy with lymph node dissection
  • Esophageal stent

Is acid reflux dangerous?

When acid reflux becomes chronic and severe, it is called GERD. If left untreated, acid reflux can become serious and lead to esophagus inflammation, damage, and possibly cancer.

What are unusual signs of GERD?

Most people think that if they have acid reflux, they will have heartburn. But that’s not always the case. Silent reflux, or laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), and can cause unusual signs of GERD such as a bitter taste in your mouth, hoarseness, throat-clearing, sore throat, wheezing, chronic cough, and asthma.

Can acid reflux be managed?

Yes, most cases of acid reflux can be managed with medications, lifestyle changes, monitoring and, if needed, surgery.

What are early signs of esophageal cancer?

Unfortunately, there are few early signs of esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer doesn’t usually cause symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage. Those symptoms may include problems with swallowing and digestion. Because esophageal cancer doesn’t have early signs, it’s important to know if you are at increased risk of developing this deadly cancer. Factors that increase your risk include acid reflux, GERD, Barrett’s esophagus, heavy alcohol use, and smoking.

What are the signs and symptoms of gastroparesis?

Many signs and symptoms of gastroparesis are the same as other digestive disorders. These include upset stomach, nausea, heartburn, and stomach pains or bloating. Other signs that are less common in other disorders but common to gastroparesis are feeling full after eating very little, chronic vomiting, and weight loss.

For more information, please reach out to our nurse navigator at 303-765-3581.

Colonoscopy

Gastroenterology

Colonoscopy

If you are scheduling a screening colonoscopy in Denver, you should know about new technology at Porter Adventist Hospital that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to assist GI doctors in finding potentially harmful colorectal polyps. Porter is the first colonoscopy center in Colorado to use this technology.

Finding and removing polyps is important because most colorectal cancers start as lesions on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. However, the national average of missed polyps ranges from six to 10 percent. Porter’s new colonoscopy technology uses AI to help our gastroenterologists locate hard-to-find polyps and reduce the rate of missed polyps. AI helps us to make sure you are getting the most accurate results when you come see us for your colonoscopy.

Learn more about colonoscopies

GI testing and treatments we provide

  • Bravo pH study
  • Colonoscopy (screening and surveillance)
  • EGD (Esophagogastroduodenoscopy)
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Endoscopy
  • Esophageal manometry
  • Enteroscopy
  • Esophagram
  • EUS-guided portal pressure gradient measurement
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy/proctosigmoidoscopy
  • Hemorrhoid banding
  • Hydrogen breath test
  • Lactose breath test
  • PEG (feeding tube) placement
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Smart pill
  • WATs testing

GI conditions we treat

  • Achalasia (swallowing problem)
  • Acid reflux
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Autoimmune disease in gastroenterology/hepatology
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Bile duct diseases, including cancer, cysts, stones, strictures, leaks, and trauma
  • Bile duct injuries caused by surgery
  • Celiac disease
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Clostridium difficile
  • Collagenous colitis
  • Colon polyps and colon cancer
  • Constipation
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Diarrhea
  • Diverticulosis and diverticulitis
  • Dysphagia
  • sophageal cancer
  • Esophagitis and stricture
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Gallbladder tumors
  • Gallstones
  • Gastric cancer
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Gastrointestinal disorders during pregnancy
  • Gastrointestinal fistulas
  • GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • Gluten sensitivity (non-Celiac)
  • Heartburn
  • Helicobacter pylori (stomach infection)
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Hepatitis A, B and C
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Incontinence
  • Infectious colitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Ischemic colitis
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Liver disorders (the full range)
  • Lymphocytic colitis
  • Pancreatic diseases, including acute and chronic pancreatitis, cysts, pseudocysts, cancer, necrosis, and trauma
  • Pancreatic cysts and pseudocysts
  • Peptic ulcer disease (PUD)
  • Polyposis syndromes, hereditary colon polyps
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Small bowel bacterial overgrowth
  • Swallowing disorders
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Ulcers
  • Unexplained abdominal pain
  • Zenker's diverticula

About

Porter Adventist Hospital’s gastroenterology program

Gastrointestinal health is a critical part of your overall health. At Porter Adventist Hospital, we’ve built specialized digestive health programs and our mission is to help you with any type of digestive disease or digestive problem. We’ve recruited some of the nation’s top GI specialists and foregut surgeons , built a state-of-the-art facility and equipped it with the latest technology to provide you answers and treat your GI symptoms in one center. Your care will be coordinated among specialists for you and you will be guided through your journey by our nurse navigator. With our location near the University of Denver we offer ample parking, to provide easy access to some of the most advanced GI treatments in the region.

Our center brings together leading gastroenterologists and gastroenterology subspecialists, including foregut surgeons, hepatologists, and gastroenterologists fellowship-trained in advanced therapeutic endoscopy. Each week, this team of specialists meet to discuss complex patient cases in depth, share information among the treating providers, and create treatment plans tailored to each patient that may involve treatments from several specialties.

This ecosystem of GI care inside Porter offers many benefits to patients with digestive challenges:

  • Nurse navigators who ensure that patients have the proper tests and see the right specialists in the right order to reduce unnecessary or wasteful visits
  • Care that is coordinated between specialists to save patients time and hassle while improving care by alleviating missed or inaccurate communication among providers
  • Advanced diagnostic testing and treatment options not found anywhere else in Colorado
  • World-class care and outcomes provided in the warmth and ease of a community hospital setting
$5+ million
Amount Porter is investing in its new GI unit, including construction and equipment
4,227
Number of GI procedures performed annually at Porter
673
Number of research projects or published studies by Centura Gastroenterology Porter physicians
3
Number of diagnostic tests and procedures offered only in Colorado at Porter

FAQs

When acid reflux becomes chronic and severe, it is called GERD. If left untreated, acid reflux can become serious and lead to inflammation and symptomatic narrowing or strictures, pre-cancerous lining changes, and possibly cancer.

Most people think that if they have acid reflux, they will have heartburn. But that’s not always the case. Silent reflux, or laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), can cause unusual signs of GERD such as a bitter taste in your mouth, hoarseness, throat-clearing, sore throat, wheezing, chronic cough, and asthma.

Most cases of acid reflux can be treated with medications, lifestyle changes and, if needed, surgery.

Unfortunately, there are few early signs of esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer doesn’t usually cause symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage. Those symptoms may include problems with swallowing, pain, and weight loss. Because esophageal cancer doesn’t have early signs, it’s important to know if you are at increased risk of developing this deadly cancer. Factors that increase your risk include chronic untreated acid reflux, Barrett’s esophagus, heavy alcohol use, and smoking. 
 

Many signs and symptoms of gastroparesis are the same as other digestive disorders. These include upset stomach, nausea, heartburn, and stomach pains or bloating. Other signs that are less common in other disorders but common to gastroparesis are feeling full after eating very little, chronic vomiting, and weight loss. 

Porter Adventist Hospital’s gastroenterology services are currently located on the 1st floor of the hospital. In early 2022, the program will move to new space with four dedicated operating rooms and advanced technology located on the 3rd floor of Porter. This unit will include standard gastroenterology services, including colonoscopies, plus the Center for Heartburn and Reflux Treatment and the Center for Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopy.