Hoag’s Award-Winning GI Programs Take a Subspecialized Approach

A gastrointestinal (GI) tract travels the length of a person’s body, comprising more than nine individual organs. When disease strikes, patients need a specialist who can provide precise organ- or system-based expertise.

Hoag is the only hospital in Orange County to offer a team of GI specialists who have the clinical expertise necessary to bring comprehensive, multidisciplinary care with the latest treatments for both early and late-stage disease, including robotic and minimally-invasive surgery. Hoag’s GI surgery volumes are the highest in Orange County, illustrating that quantity improves quality. Even better, U.S. News & World Report ranked Hoag’s Gastroenterology & GI Surgery #23 in the nation.

“Hoag combines all the advantages of an academic center with the advantages of a community hospital,” said Robert Selby, M.D., program director of Hoag’s Pancreas and Hepatobiliary Cancer Program, and chief of the division of Hepatobiliary at Keck School of Medicine of USC. “Patients don’t need to drive 80 miles for complex GI care. We offer that in Orange County.”

“Most community hospitals don’t have the capability to manage these patients to a successful outcome,” said Dr. Selby. “Hoag is different. We’ve paired the highest quality physicians, who are subspecialized in their field, with the most advanced technology. The real Hoag difference is seen in the quality and compassion patients feel.”

Hoag’s comprehensive Gastroenterology Program features:

  • Subspecialized gastroenterologists, advanced endoscopists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, oncologists and dedicated teams working together to treat all GI diseases, both cancer and non-cancer, including esophageal, liver, gallbladder, stomach, pancreatic, colorectal, inflammatory bowel disease, small intestine and bile duct.
  • State-of-the-art diagnostic technology, including Fibroscan, Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) and Interventional Radiology, as well as cutting-edge treatment approaches, including robotic-assisted procedures, minimally-invasive surgical options, and advanced surgical approaches like whipple operations.
  • Leading-edge radiation, provided by Hoag’s Radiation Oncology department, offers GI patients multiple treatment options, with precise treatment targeting through sophisticated planning software, tailoring care to each individual’s needs.
  • Access to early development GI cancer trials, through an alliance with USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, allowing Hoag patients to receive the newest cancer drugs right in their own neighborhood.

Babak Rad, M.D., program director for Hoag Colorectal Cancer Program, said that one of the most distinctive features of Hoag’s team is its patient-centered approach: “What that leads to for the patients is a level of comprehensive care and expertise they are not likely to find anywhere else in our community.” Dr. Rad leads a multidisciplinary, subspecialized team for colorectal cancer patients, including a uniquely integrative virtual rectal clinic that allows patients to see Hoag’s team of specialists all in one visit.

Similarly, John Lipham, M.D., program director for the Hoag Foregut Cancer Program, the James & Pamela Muzzy Endowed Chair in GI Cancer, and professor of surgery at Keck School of Medicine of USC, has brought his expertise in esophageal and gastric care to Hoag. With a skilled team, Dr. Lipham provides innovative treatment options, including the FDA-approved sphincter augmentation device used to effectively treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

“People don’t realize that GERD can lead to esophageal cancer,” said Dr. Lipham. “In addition to using the most innovative medical techniques to treat esophageal cancer, Hoag is committed to preventing the disease.”

“Hoag, together with a skilled team of physicians and dedicated staff have built something special,” said Paul Korc, M.D., Hoag advanced endoscopist. “Patients in the community can feel supported in a difficult time by these advanced programs and resources.”

For more information, call 888-832-0316.