Center for Esophageal Diseases
The Center for Esophageal Diseases at the University of Chicago is one of the few centers in the United States solely dedicated to diagnosing and treating disorders of the esophagus. Because the University of Chicago Medicine has such a specialized program, our physicians have the focused expertise and depth of experience that comes from helping many patients who have problems of the esophagus. As an area of dedicated clinical and research concentration, the Center for Esophageal Diseases can offer patients options, resources and a level of experience and innovation that are available at only a handful of leading medical centers in the world.
At the Center for Esophageal Diseases, we offer the most effective care with an emphasis on using the least invasive treatment methods. Many patients with precancerous conditions can be successfully treated using non-surgical, endoscopic techniques. For cases that require surgery, our expert surgeons can typically perform surgery through very small incisions, rather than large, open abdominal and chest incisions.
We offer a full range of diagnostic procedures, as well as medical, surgical and minimally invasive treatment options to meet the individual needs of patients with esophageal conditions.
The Center provides diagnosis and treatment for common and rare conditions of the esophagus, including:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Barrett’s esophagus
- Esophageal achalasia
- Paraesophageal hernia
- Esophageal diverticulum
- Cancers of the esophagus (squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma)
- Submucosal tumors of the esophagus
World-Class Experts in Esophageal Care
A multidisciplinary team approach means that patients benefit from the combined expertise of physicians who have the knowledge, perspective and experience to address all aspects of esophageal disease.
Our team includes several physicians who are among the most experienced in their particular areas of esophageal care. For example, the Center's director, Marco Patti, MD, is a surgeon who exclusively performs procedures of the esophagus, and who is recognized as one of the most experienced surgeons in the world for performing minimally invasive laparoscopic myotomy to treat esophageal achalasia.
The Center's Medical Director, Robert Kavitt, MD MPH, is a gastroenterologist with expertise and specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of esophageal disorders. He is a specialist in the evaluation and management of patients with GERD, eosinophilic esophagitis, esophageal motility disorders including achalasia, and Barrett's esophagus. He has a particular interest in the evaluation of patients with difficulty swallowing and in the management of patients with esophageal strictures. Dr. Kavitt has published several journal articles and book chapters on esophageal disorders and has presented his research at scientific meetings.
Gastroenterologist Vani Konda, MD is the Director of Endoscopic Research for the Center for Endoscopic Research and Therapeutics. Dr. Konda’s clinical practice and research focus on the diagnosis (including advanced imaging techniques) and treatment of Barrett's esophagus, GERD, and other esophageal conditions. In collaboration with her colleagues, Dr. Konda is actively involved in researching and developing new applications of endoscopic imaging and therapy.
Thoracic surgeon Mark Ferguson, MD, is nationally known for his expertise in minimally invasive surgical procedures for esophageal and lung conditions, and has authored several prominent books on thoracic surgery techniques. Mitchell Posner, MD, is a leading surgical oncologist who is actively researching novel treatment approaches combined with surgery for esophageal cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers. Both Drs. Ferguson and Posner are regularly included on many "best doctors" lists.
Our leading interventional gastrointestinal endoscopist, Irving Waxman, MD, was one of the first physicians in the U.S. to perform minimally invasive endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) to remove precancerous tissue from the esophagus and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract. He heads a world-class interventional endoscopy team that has ample experience with other endoscopic treatment modalities like radiofrequency ablation.