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esophageal services

Esophageal Disease Services

Our UCI Health esophageal disease specialists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment all diseases and conditions affecting the upper gastrointestinal tract.

Our board-certified physicians are national leaders in the development of innovative technologies to care for patients suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), achalasiaBarrett’s esophagus, esophageal cancer, hiatal hernias and motility disorders, to name a few.

Our physicians are pioneers in the endoscopic diagnosis and treatment of pre-cancerous esophageal conditions — often on an outpatient basis at UCI Medical Center in Orange. Our specialists also are highly skilled at laparoscopic and robot-assisted approaches when surgery is indicated.

Above all, we at the UCI Health Digestive Health Institute (DHI) work with you to develop a personal care plan to ensure your health and quality of life.

To schedule a consultation, please call 888-717-4463.

Advances in treatments for esophageal conditions and diseases enable many of our patients to undergo treatment without open surgery.

For people with GERD, Barrett's esophagus, motility disorders such as achalasia — and even hiatal hernias and esophageal cancer — this can mean a relatively simple outpatient procedure.

At the UCI Health Digestive Health Institute, our gastroenterologists, surgeons, oncologists and otolaryngologists work with you to develop a treatment plan tailored to your condition and your needs.

When surgery is required, our specialists use the most innovative and least invasive techniques to achieve optimal results with low complication rates and short hospital stays. These include laparoscopic and endoscopic approaches. Our physicians are leaders in these techniques and they often train other physicians in the latest methods and technologies.

Learn more about the conditions our esophageal diseases team treats ›

The UCI Health esophageal disease experts at the Digestive Health Institute (DHI), are leaders in the development of advanced therapies and innovative techniques to diagnose and treat all diseases and conditions of the upper gastrointestinal tract.

Notable achievements of our specialists include:

  • Dr. Kenneth Chang, executive director of the institute, is nationally recognized for developing radiofrequency ablation (RFA), as well as other interventional endoscopy procedures to treat Barrett’s esophagus, a condition that can develop into esophageal cancer.
  • Dr. Ninh T. Nguyen is a pioneer in minimally invasive surgical approaches to treating esophageal conditions, including laparoscopic and thoracoscopic esophagectomy.
  • Dr. Jason B. Samarasena, director of advanced endoscopic imaging, is passionate about the early detection of esophageal diseases. He is among the first in the nation to perform esophageal submucosal dissection (ESD) to remove early-stage esophageal cancer. View a video about ESD ›
  • Dr. Brian R. Smith is one of the leaders in performing TIF® (Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication) with EsophyX®, an endoscopic procedure to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • DHI physicians were the first in Orange County to use Cellvizio® Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy, an endoscopy probe that provides real-time images of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract at the cellular level. This technology enables our GI specialists to make an on-the-spot diagnosis so that treatment can be performed during the same session.
  • We are one of the few centers in Southern California to offer the full range of noninvasive or minimally invasive GERD treatments, including TIF EsophyX, Stretta® and LINX®.

At the Digestive Health Institute, our gastroenterologists and surgeons work together to create individual treatment plans for patients with esophageal diseases.

This means that our physicians are actively discussing options with each other and our patients to find the best approach, whether it be monitoring progress, endoscopic treatment or surgery at UCI Medical Center in Orange. 

We also are affiliated with the UCI Health Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only healthcare facility in Orange County designated for excellence by the National Cancer Institute. This provides our patients access to leading clinical trials before they are widely available to the general public.

Our CDDC physicians also work closely with UCI Health otolaryngologists, who provide complete services for voice, swallowing and breathing disorders. 

Our multidisciplinary esophageal diseases team includes:

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