Clinical Areas

Below you will find the Subspecialties offered by the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and the Clinical Locations where care is provided.

Subspecialties

The Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Division has six main subspecialties. One of the major strengths of this division is the level of clinical expertise across all of the major areas of these subspecialties.

    Endoscopy

    The Alvin M Zfass Endoscopy Unit is a state of the art facility providing both routine and advanced endoscopic care to over 7000 patients annually. The primary mission of the endoscopy unit is to deliver high quality, compassionate endoscopic care in both inpatient and outpatient settings. The endoscopy unit also serves to implement, evaluate and develop new endoscopic technologies and techniques. Finally, the unit serves as the primary location for endoscopic training of both gastroenterology fellows and surgical residents.

    A wide variety of endoscopic procedures are performed. These include routine procedures such as upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy. Advanced endoscopic procedures such as pancreaticobiliary endoscopy (ERCP), endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), balloon enteroscopy and videocapsule endoscopy are also commonly performed. Currently, the unit is also performing a wide variety of ablative techniques for patients with Barrett's esophagus with either early esophageal cancer or at high risk for developing cancer. The unit offers both the broadest array of techniques and experience in the state of Virginia. Current techniques include endoscopic mucosal resection, radiofrequency ablation and cryotherapy techniques using both liquid nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Finally, several novel technologies for advanced mucosal imaging are offered including confocal microscopy (to evaluate for early dysplastic changes in Barrett's esophagus and inflammatory bowel disease) and direct cholangioscopy (to evaluate the biliary tract). 

    In addition to endoscopic techniques, a number of procedures are available to assess digestive physiology as it relates to various digestive disorders. These include high resolution esophageal manometry and esophageal topography and anorectal manometry. Esophageal function can be further evaluated with esophageal pH monitoring using either a standard catheter-based electrode or an endoscopically placed radiotelemetry sensor (Bravo). Finally, non-acid reflux can be measured using multichannel intraluminal impedance testing.

    Therapeutic Endoscopy

    The section of advanced therapeutic endoscopy offers all advanced endoscopic procedures, including advanced endoscopic imaging (confocal endomicroscopy, narrow band imaging, chromoendoscopy), endoscopic mucosal ablation (carbon dioxide cryotherapy, radiofrequency ablation), endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR), endoluminal stenting, endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS), EUS-guided FNA, EUS-guided interventions (pseudocyst drainage, celiac plexus block, rendezvous procedures, etc.), diagnostic and therapeutic ERCP (including ampullectomy, sphincter of oddi manometry, pediatric ERCP, papillotomy, cholangioscopy).

    Advanced Liver Program

    The Advanced Liver Program is staffed by nationally and internationally renowned hepatologists who work hard to develop novel treatments for more than 100 diseases known to affect the liver. Such a range of conditions requires an equally diverse group of specialists equipped with experience, knowledge and clinical skills needed to ensure treatment success and advance treatment practices. Some of the most relevant conditions treated by the program include:

    • Viral hepatitis
    • Portal hypertension
    • Cholestatic liver diseases
    • Hepatic encephalopathy
    • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
    • Hepatocellular carcinoma
    • Isolated hepatocyte transplant
    • Adult live donor right-lobe liver transplant

    Liver Transplant

    Our physicians at the Hume-Lee Transplant Center have been pioneers in both the treatment of liver diseases and liver transplantation. Their dedication to offering transplantation and other treatment options for those with End Stage Liver Disease is paramount to the successes found at VCU Medical Center.

    Center for Digestive Health

    Offering expert and compassionate care, the Center for Digestive Health at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center takes the best of innovative science, cutting-edge technology, creative teaching and clinical application to improve patient outcomes. Through an integrated, comprehensive and patient-centered network, our health care providers are dedicated to advancing digestive health treatments for the well-being of patients in the commonwealth of Virginia and beyond.

    The Center for Digestive Health’s team of multidisciplinary specialists — including a dedicated radiologist and pathologist — offers cutting-edge medical and surgical treatments for a variety of digestive health illnesses. We provide professional services for women’s health, pediatrics and IBD patients; colon, rectal, bariatric, hepatobiliary, upper gastrointestinal and pancreatic surgery; and gastrointestinal nutrition.

    One of our major strengths is the level of clinical expertise across all major areas of digestive health, including:

    • Colon and rectal surgery
    • Crohn’s disease
    • Transition from adolescent to adult care
    • Ulcerative colitis

    Pancreatitis Clinic

    The VCU Medical Center’s Pancreatitis Clinic is dedicated to treating patients and promoting research on pancreatitis and other pancreatic disorders. The Pancreatitis Clinic provides patients with access to the most experienced pancreatitis team in the area, the benefit of innovative therapies and access to research/clinical trials, which improve the quality of care in the community, the nation and the world. The clinic is comprised of a team of experts from multiple specialties including gastroenterology, transplant surgery, hematology-oncology, surgical oncology, radiology, radiation oncology, interventional radiology, registered dietitians, research certified registered nurses, clinic research specialist as well as a full administrative support staff. This vast team of specialists offers cutting edge therapies including:

    • Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) with biopsy capabilities
    • Diagnostic and Therapeutic Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
    • Dietary counseling
    • Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatosopy (MRCP), a noninvasive study of the bile and pancreatic ducts to determine blockage
    • Genetic screening and counseling
    • Access to research and clinical trials
    • Nursing care recognized by the national Magnet award since 2006


    The Pancreatitis Clinic welcomes both internal and external referrals to the clinic.

    Nutrition Clinic

    The GI-Nutrition team at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center is committed to excellence in patient care, education, and research. This experienced team is supported by gastroenterology and hepatology physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses certified in nutrition support, and dietitians in outpatient and inpatient setting. The GI-Nutrition team provides comprehensive patient care, develops individualized nutrition therapy, and offers nutrition counseling and education to the patients and their families. This team specializes in the evaluation and management of malnutrition, failure to thrive, short bowel syndrome, intestinal failure and rehabilitation, short and long term TPN. The team has expertise in the medical management of obesity and post gastric bypass nutrition support, nutrition support in complex patients with cirrhosis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, enterocutaneous fistula, ostomy as well common and rare macro-and micronutrient deficiencies. This team also offers enteral tube feeding support in outpatient and inpatient setting. Additionally, GI-nutrition team is a useful resource supporting other services including bariatric surgery, medical and surgical oncology, bone marrow and solid organ transplant, and primary care providers. The GI-Nutrition team is dedicated to serving our community and keeping with the Division’s tradition of excellence. 

Clinical Locations

  • VCU MCV Physicians at Mayland
    3470 Mayland Ct.
    Richmond, VA 23233
    (804) 527-4540
    Fax: (804) 527-4487
  • VCU MCV Physicians at Temple Avenue
    2035 Waterside Dr., Suite 100
    Prince George, VA 23875
    (804) 957- 6287
    Fax: (804) 957-9724
  • VCU Advanced Liver Program in Fredericksburg
    612 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Suite 2012
    Fredericksburg, VA 22401
    (804) 828-4060
    Fax: (804) 828-5348
  • VCU Advanced Liver Program at Henrico Doctors' Hospital Parham Campus
    7650 E. Parham Rd.
    Medical Office Building II, Suite 200
    Richmond, VA 23294
    (804) 828-4060
    Fax: (804) 527-4487
  • VCU MCV Physicians in Williamsburg
    1162 Professional Dr.
    Williamsburg, VA 23185
    (757) 220-1246
    Fax: (757) 220-0835
  • McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center
    1201 Broad Rock Blvd.
    Richmond, VA 23249
    (804) 675-5457