The activity of the Gastroenterology Unit is aimed at the diagnosis and, in some cases, at the treatment of gastrointestinal tract tumors: esophagus, stomach, pancreas, biliary tract, small intestine, colon and rectum. The Unit also treats benign pathologies (pancreatitis, haemorrhages, decompensated cirrhosis, etc.) that are referred for consultation by the emergency room or primary care physicians, thus contributing to the management of the non-cancerous gastrointestinal diseases of the local population.
The Gastroenterology Unit has a hospital ward with 6 beds and a digestive endoscopy service that performs routine and urgent procedures.
The procedures that can be performed both on an outpatient and, in some cases, on an inpatient basis include:
- esophagogastroduodenoscopy with biopsy, polypectomy (polyp removal), endoscopic treatment of Barrett’s esophagus, endoscopic treatment of stenosis of the gastrointestinal tract (dilation or insertion of prosthesis for the treatment of dysphagia);
- diagnosis of obstructive jaundice by means of echoendoscopy and, in some cases, treatment of jaundice for palliative purposes by inserting stents into the bile duct with ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography);
- removal of polyps to prevent their transformation into tumor;
- execution of fine needle biopsies for the diagnosis of pancreatic tumors and the staging of other cancers (e.g., lung cancer), and of lesions of the gastrointestinal wall (submucosal formations such as GIST) and adjacent structures (such as the diagnosis of mediastinal lymph nodes or adrenal masses);
- treatment of liver tumors by thermoablation and chemoembolization;
- evaluation and nutritional support for cancer patients before and after chemotherapy.