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Allegheny General Hospital Opens State-of-the-Art Gastroenterology Lab

Monday, October 14, 2019

$10 Million Facility Provides Advanced Capabilities for Diagnosing and Treating Digestive Diseases

PITTSBURGH – Allegheny Health Network (AHN) and Highmark Health leaders today are celebrating the opening of a new AHN Center for Advanced Endoscopy at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH). The state-of-the-art, 13,000 square-foot facility is equipped with the latest advanced technologies for diagnosing and treating disorders of the digestive system. Officials will cut the ribbon to the new space this evening at 5:30 PM.

Located on the 1st floor of the hospital’s Snyder Pavilion, the new center houses 18 spacious pre- and post-procedure bays, six procedure rooms and is staffed by AHN’s team of experienced, highly skilled gastroenterologists, advanced endoscopists, surgeons and nurses.

“This significant investment in the capacity and capabilities of our gastroenterology program is a testament to AGH’s long-history of providing exceptional care for patients in need of gastrointestinal screenings, diagnostic exams or therapeutic interventions,” said Elie Aoun, MD, MS, Chief, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and AHN Medical Director for Clinical Access. “We now have a beautiful, sophisticated new facility to meet the increasing demand for our services with a level of care, innovation, quality and efficiency that is second to none in our region.”

Procedures commonly performed in the lab include colonoscopy to detect colon cancer and polyps, upper endoscopy for evaluation of mucosal disease, endoscopic ultrasound for staging and sampling of gastrointestinal tumors, and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) for diagnostic and therapeutic management of pancreatico-biliary diseases.   

The lab’s ERCP rooms are equipped with advanced imaging equipment that includes the e-view™ MP Fluoro System from Omega Medical Imaging. The only system designed specifically for interventional endoscopy, e-view facilitates the most complex endoscopic procedures by providing physicians with unprecedented visualization of the GI anatomy while significantly reducing radiation exposure to both patients and staff.

Some of the highly specialized, complex procedures performed include endoscopic stricturotomies and fistulotomies for complex inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients, lumen apposing metal stents (LAMS) to assist in the drainage of pancreatic fluid collections, and peroral endoscopic myotomy for the management of swallowing disorders such as achalasia.

“The center’s unique design and build helps facilitate these novel treatments and places it as one of the most elite for the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders,” said Shyam Thakkar, MD, AHN Director of Endoscopy. “From its innovative infection prevention technology, to a video integration system which enables our staff to more seamlessly collaborate in the management of the most complex patients, this facility assures truly best-in-class patient care.”

Recognized by the National Pancreas Foundation (NPF) as a center of excellence for pancreatic care, the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition was also recently recognized by the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) for its efforts in providing the community the option to receive screening colonoscopies more conveniently on Saturdays. For the second year consecutively, the group received a SCOPY (Service Award for Colorectal Cancer Outreach, Prevention and Year-Round Excellence) for ‘Best Community Service Delivery and Comprehensive Community Education Initiative by a Health System.'

The ACG recommends for most people that colorectal cancer screening begin at age 50. To schedule a colonoscopy or an appointment with an AHN gastroenterologist, call 412.359.8900 or 412.DOCTORS.  

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