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UCI Health gastroenterologist honored by the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Dr. Kenneth Chang named as a Master Endoscopist Award honoree

March 15, 2022

Orange, Calif. — The American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) has named Dr. Kenneth Chang, board-certified UCI Health gastroenterologist and executive director of the UCI Health Digestive Health Institute, a Crystal Awards Master Endoscopist honoree.

The prestigious Crystal Awards is the annual recognition of gastroenterologists who have made a tremendous contribution to the field of gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy.

“I am truly honored to be named a 2022 ASGE Master Endoscopist award recipient,” said Chang. “My entire academic career has been devoted to the field of GI endoscopy – embracing the invigorating cycle of discover-teach-heal. To be recognized as a Master Endoscopist affirms my passion and calling to this space. I share this award with all those who taught, mentored, and inspired me, as well as those who endured my discipleship.”

Chang’s has a longstanding history of advancing the standards of care for those suffering from digestive diseases. For more than three decades, his clinical research has focused on developing and expanding the field of interventional gastrointestinal endoscopy with a specific focus on digestive malignancies and precancerous lesions. Being the first to term ‘interventional endoscopy’ and ‘interventional endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)’ in 1997, he has continuously brought novel disruptive technologies to the field, including EUS-guided fine needle aspiration (FNA) for cancer diagnosis and staging, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in the treatment of Barrett’s esophagus, EUS-guided portal pressure gradient (EUS-PPG) measurement for patients with suspected liver cirrhosis, and endoscopic treatment for gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). 

Chang holds the Vincent and Anna Kong Chair in Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Oncology – one of the few chairs in gastrointestinal endoscopic oncology in the nation – and has published over 470 peer-review articles, review papers, book chapters and abstracts, as well as editor of four textbooks. These scientific publications include five major topics: EUS-guided tissue acquisition, new diagnostic approaches to pancreatic cystic neoplasia, endo-hepatology, GERD/Barrett’s esophagus, and third-space endoscopy (myotomy and cancer resection).

Over the past decade, Chang has focused on pre-cancerous conditions of the digestive system (Barrett’s esophagus and pancreatic cysts) with the goal to improve detection, risk stratification and clinical strategies that culminate in a personalized approach toward treatment and cure. He also views acid reflux and obesity as being precursors (pre-pre-cancer) to malignancy and has developed impactful, minimally invasive procedures to manage both.

In addition to his expertise in GI malignancies and Barrett’s, he is also an expert in peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) in the treatment of achalasia, endoscopic submucosal resection (ESD) of early cancers and endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) for obesity. He is also an authority on trans-oral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) in the treatment of GERD. 

About the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Since its founding in 1941, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) has been dedicated to advancing patient care and digestive health by promoting excellence and innovation in gastrointestinal endoscopy. ASGE, with almost 15,000 members worldwide, promotes the highest standards for endoscopic training and practice, fosters endoscopic research, recognizes distinguished contributions to endoscopy, and is the foremost resource for endoscopic education. Visit Asge.org and ValueOfColonoscopy.org for more information and to find a qualified doctor in your area.

UCI Health is the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine, and the only academic health system in Orange County. Patients can access UCI Health at primary and specialty care offices across Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, Calif. The 459-bed acute care hospital, listed among America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for 21 consecutive years, provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation services. UCI Medical Center is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centerhigh-risk perinatal/neonatal program and American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center and regional burn center. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.