Upper GI treatment in Denver, CO

We place a great importance on making the correct diagnosis for any gastroenterological condition you may be experiencing, from the beginning and develop unique treatment plans unique to that diagnosis. Our surgeons perform upper endoscopy and interpret impedance and pH testing to help with diagnosis.

Reflux and Heartburn Center at Swedish

At Swedish, our board-certified gastroenterologists and surgeons specialize in helping our patients with chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition that results in acid reflux and heartburn when stomach acid is not properly contained and rises in the esophagus. GERD patients regularly experience heartburn, chest pain, indigestion, excessive throat clearing, hoarseness, chronic cough and/or asthma. Treatment and management for GERD or heartburn includes lifestyle changes, medications and, in move severe cases, surgery.

Surgical procedures used to correct GERD

We offer several surgical options for GERD patients. When possible, our surgeons use the least invasive procedure possible to reduce surgery risks and improve recovery time. We provide:

  • Hiatal hernia repair
  • Laparoscopic ‘Nissen’ fundoplication
  • Transoral incisionless fundoplication using transoral reconstructive surgery
  • Magnetic sphincter augmentation

Barrett’s Esophagus

Swedish’s Heartburn Center is dedicated to curing Barrett’s Esophagus, a condition that can put patients at a high risk for esophageal cancer. Barrett’s Esophagus occurs when the cells of the lower esophagus are changed due to chronic exposure to stomach acid (reflux). After irritation and damage, lower esophagus cells can change to form glands and secrete mucus. This damage puts patients at an increased risk for esophageal cancer.

To request an appointment with a digestive system specialist, call us today at (866) 779-3347.

Incisionless GERD surgery

The minimally invasive, incisionless acid reflux surgery permanently corrects the anatomical cause of chronic acid reflux, otherwise known as GERD. By accessing the patient’s digestive system through their mouth, surgeons can reconstruct a durable anti-reflux valve and tighten the lower esophageal sphincter.

Are you a candidate?

Do you suffer from chronic acid reflux or heartburn symptoms two times per week or more? Are you unhappy with the results of medication?

If so, you may be a candidate for GERD surgery with transoral reconstructive surgery. This method provides long-term results without a single incision. An increasingly favorable type of GERD surgery, this procedure allows patients to discontinue their medication for a foreseeable period of time.

Other benefits of transoral reconstructive surgery

  • Long-term solution to GERD
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Reduced patient discomfort
  • Shortened patient recovery
  • No visible scars
  • Typically higher patient satisfaction
  • Eliminates heartburn in over 85% of patients

Hiatal hernia repair

A hiatal hernia is a condition in which the upper part of the stomach moves up through a small opening in the diaphragm into the chest. Oftentimes, patients with hiatal hernias have no symptoms and a diagnosis is made while looking into other illnesses, such as GERD.

Surgery and treatment of hiatal hernia

Hiatal hernia repair surgery can often be performed in a minimally invasive manner, generally consisting of three parts:

  1. Tightening the opening in the diaphragm to prevent the stomach from shifting into the chest.
  2. Repairing the opening in the diaphragm by completing a row of stitches and inserting a patch or mesh to reinforce the stomach’s correct placement in the abdomen.
  3. Fold or wrap the stomach around the lower esophagus with stitches to prevent stomach acid from riding back up into the esophagus.

When a hiatal hernia is associated with GERD, the repair procedure is done during GERD surgery.

If you would like to request a consultation or an appointment with one of our South Denver gastroenterologists, reach out to our team at (866) 779-3347.

Magnetic sphincter augmentation

Magnetic sphincter augmentation is a procedure that implants a series of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores into the esophagus just above the stomach. The magnetic attraction between the beads increases the existing sphincter’s barrier function to prevent reflux.

Patients who receive this procedure should not have an MRI, but can have alternative imaging procedures, such as CT scans.

Gastrointestinal bleeding scans

This scan is performed to determine the frequency, location and extent of bleeding that may be occurring in the GI tract, which includes the stomach and small and large intestines.


As a form of body fluid sampling, this procedure removes fluid or gas from a cavity of the body for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. Paracentesis is usually caused by another condition—cirrhosis, heart failure, kidney failure, cancer or infection. The pressure blocks blood flow into the liver, which over time prevents your kidneys from removing excess salt in the body. This, in turn, causes fluid to build up. 

Biliary drainage

When bile ducts are blocked, your doctor may recommend biliary drainage. Using a small tube and inserting it into the duct, this procedure allows for bile to drain from the liver to the small intestine.

Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty Liver Disease, also called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), is a chronic liver disease in which too much fat is stored in the liver causing inflammation. It is possible for this inflammation to progress to scarring and liver damage. Patients with this disease are initially seen by a gastroenterologist who will evaluate the patient's symptoms and recommend testing and/or treatment depending on the unique needs of the patient. Our program provides the advanced testing, treatment capabilities and expertise needed to provide the best care possible for each patient.