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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.

Our Services

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:

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. 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.

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.

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Digestive Diseases Center

Our physicians and researchers deliver outstanding patient care while working to discover new treatments for digestive diseases. Read more about the Digestive Diseases Center (PDF).