The Gastroenterology Department is headed by Professor Zamir Halpern. This is the largest gastroenterology department in Israel. The staff includes 30 physicians, among them 5 professors, as well as over 10 nurses, laboratory assistants and medical technicians.
The Gastroenterology Department comprises 16 specialized clinics and centers including the center of inflammatory bowel diseases and clinics of video capsule endoscopy, hepatology, pancreatic conditions, etc. The department specialists perform 10 types of GI tract endoscopic studies.
What Diseases Are Treated At Gastroenterology Department?
Patients may consult the Top Ichilov department specialists on any disease of the gastrointestinal tract. Most often, experts provide treatment for the following conditions:
|Gastric and duodenal ulcers
|Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD)
|Irritable bowel syndrome
Leading Gastroenterologists In Israel
Professor Gideon Goldman, gastroenterologist with 40 years of professional experience, Head of Gastroenterology Department. Was included into the 2019 list of Israel’s best physicians according to the Forbes magazine. Author of 108 scientific publications.
Professor Zamir Halpern, colorectal surgeon with 40 years of professional experience. Professor of Surgery Department at Tel Aviv University. Has been Head of Colorectal Surgery Clinic at the Ichilov Medical Center for 10 years. Author of over 100 scientific publications.
Professor Miha Rabau, specialist in colorectal surgery. Has been operating for about 40 years. Has worked at the leading clinics of Israel and the USA. Professor of Surgery Department at Tel Aviv University.
Professor Shimon Reif, specialist in GI tract diseases and nutrition problems in children. Chairman of the Israel Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. Head of Department of Pediatrics at Tel Aviv University, author of over 230 scientific publications.
Doctor Henit Yanai, endoscopist with 40 years of professional experience, specialist in diagnosis and treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases.
Doctor Einat Shacham-Shmueli, oncologist-gastroenterologist, specialist in gastrointestinal cancer treatment, Director of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Clinic. Professional experience: about 30 years. Heads international scientific groups for clinical oncology.
Doctor Erwin Santo, endoscopist with 40 years of professional experience, Director of the Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Clinic. Was included into the 2019 list of Israel’s best doctors compiled by the editors of the Forbes magazine.
Doctor Olga Barkay, gastroenterologist, specialist in gastrointestinal endoscopy. Lecturer at Tel Aviv University, Deputy Head of Gastroenterology Department.
Professor Oren Shibolet, hepatologist, Head of Hepatology Department, professional experience: about 40 years. Secretary of the Israel Association for the Study of the Liver.
Innovations: New Diagnosis And Treatment Methods In Top Ichilov
Confocal Endomicroscopy: the Alternative to Traumatic Biopsy
Up until now, the precancerous changes of the mucous membrane in the GI tract could only be detected through biopsy. A new device, the confocal endomicroscope, helps visualize intracellular structures of the mucous membranes in the esophagus, stomach, and colon during an endoscopic study: gastroduodenoscopy or colonoscopy. This method is similar to biopsy, but it is also different: with the microscope, doctors study living tissues, not their biopsied fragments. Thus, the new method is as informative as a biopsy but less traumatic. The procedure is based on laser radiation and a special optic technology.
For the patient, a confocal endomicroscopy is virtually the same as a conventional gastroscopy or colonoscopy. The only difference is that the new study requires a contrast agent: fluorescein sodium (10%). The clinical trials show that this method has a significant clinical impact on the diagnosis and treatment in patients with the undetermined condition.
Bacteriotherapy: Transplantation of a Healthy Person’s Intestinal Bacteria
This method consists in transplantation of intestinal bacteria from a healthy person to the patient. As a result, the patient’s colonic microbiota becomes healthier. The Top Ichilov specialists use this method to treat the following conditions:
- Crohn’s disease;
- Nonspecific ulcerative colitis (NSUC);
- Hepatic encephalopathy;
- Recurrent infections caused by the Clostridium difficile bacteria.
Scientists believe that this is a very promising way to treat inflammatory bowel diseases.
Crohn’s Disease Treatment with the Biologic Drug Ustekinumab (Stelara)
Monoclonal antibody-based medications have been used in Israel to treat inflammatory bowel diseases for the last 5-7 years. They help achieve remission when the conventional therapy proves ineffective against severe forms of the disease.
Ustekinumab is different from other biologic drugs: it helps achieve a longer remission. Clinical trials have shown that ustekinumab therapy leads to 1-year remission in 45% of NSUC patients. At that, in 58% of patients, the condition improved within the first 8 weeks of treatment. Besides, ustekinumab is effective not only for Crohn’s disease but also for psoriasis, and some of the patients have both conditions. The drug is given as an injection every 2 months. The first injection is done at the clinic. Afterwards, the patient may inject the medication themselves.
Endoscopic Procedures At Top Ichilov Clinic Department Of Gastroenterology
Video Capsule Endoscopy: Colon Filming with a Tiny Camera
The Gastroenterology Department provides video capsule endoscopy, an advanced diagnostic procedure. It is performed with a tiny video camera installed into a capsule and swallowed by the patient. This study helps visualize small intestine segments that remain unavailable during conventional endoscopic studies: gastroduodenoscopy and colonoscopy.
The procedure is recommended for the following GI tract conditions:
- Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases;
- Celiac disease;
- Gastrointestinal bleeding.
A Painless Colonoscopy While Asleep
This study helps the physician examine the mucous membrane of the entire colon including the rectum. In Israel, a colonoscopy is recommended when the fecal occult blood test results are positive. It is also used if the patient has family history of colon cancer. The procedure may also be part of the treatment: all polyps found during colonoscopy are removed.
For pain relief during colonoscopy, Israeli specialists use sedation. Patients tolerate it much better than general anesthesia.
Endoscopic Ultrasound: GI Tract Visualization from Within
This examination is performed with a tiny ultrasound probe connected to the end of the endoscope. This method visualizes the pancreas, duodenum, stomach, and esophagus a lot better compared to conventional ultrasound. The main indications for an endoscopic ultrasound include such diseases of the pancreas as pancreatic cancer.
Balloon-Assisted Enteroscopy: Examination of the Suspicious Areas in the Colonic Mucosa
This advanced method helps examine the small intestine and biopsy the suspicious areas of the mucous membrane. The examination is performed with a special endoscope fitted with 2 balloons that help it move along the small intestine. The procedure is carried out under general anesthesia and requires 1-2 days of hospital stay. Clinical trials confirm that the balloon-assisted enteroscopy is safe.
Ablation for Barrett’s Esophagus: 30-Minute Treatment
This treatment procedure is performed during a gastroscopy. The doctor threads a special catheter through the endoscope and moves it to the abnormal areas in the esophageal mucosa. The catheter is used to treat the affected area with an electric current of certain power and frequency. The size of the area and the depth of treatment are regulated with a computer program. The procedure is performed under sedation and takes 25-30 minutes. There is no need in hospitalization: the patient may leave the clinic in a few hours after the procedure.
The treatment starts with the gastroenterologist’s examination. Top Ichilov only employs experienced physicians who have been working in medicine for at least 20 years.
The colonoscopy in our department causes no discomfort: patients are asleep during the procedure.
The confocal endomicroscopy is a study that can replace the conventional biopsy.
This small capsule helps the doctor see everything that is going on inside your colon.
The Gastroenterology Department continuously conducts clinical trials of the new medications including biologic drugs.
Contact the Top Ichilov Medical Center
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