New facility treats complete range of gastrointestinal conditions

Digestive Diseases Centre
Digestive Diseases Centre

Digestive Diseases Centre First Of Its Kind For The Private Sector In Cape Town

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 The Digestive Diseases Centre, the only private facility of its kind in Cape Town, has opened at UCT Private Academic Hospital in Cape Town. The centre treats an extensive range of gastrointestinal (GI) conditions, including colorectal cancers, inflammatory bowel diseases, liver and pancreatic diseases and incontinence.

Dr Dion Levin, a gastroenterologist at the centre, says, “The facility has been developed as a referral centre for the management of GI diseases and offers service through a multidisciplinary team of highly trained and experienced specialists. All types of GI conditions can be diagnosed and treated here under one roof.”

The Digestive Diseases Centre benefits from the vast expertise that is available to UCT Private Academic Hospital through its formalised collaboration with Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town Medical School. According to UCTPAH general manager, Liselle Shield, the medical practitioners on whom the centre can call represent “an extraordinary cross section of talent” in the GI field.

The centre itself consists of three sub-specialist units. These are the colorectal and small bowel specialty, the foregut (oesophagus, stomach and duodenum) speciality and the hepato-pancreatobiliary (HPB) speciality. The colorectal, small bowel and foregut specialties undertake diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for benign and malignant diseases using the very latest in technology. Both open and laparoscopic surgical procedures are performed. Other special services offered by the colorectal speciality include inherited colorectal cancer, intestinal failure and complex inflammatory bowel disease. The HPB speciality undertakes diagnostic and interventional procedures for all biliary, liver and pancreatic diseases.

UCTPAH has not only become one of the best known centres for quality medical treatment in Cape Town, but is also a training hub for South African healthcare practitioners. UCTPAH’s partnership with the University of Cape Town Medical School has allowed the school’s students and registrars to benefit greatly from UCTPAH’s training facilities. In addition, although UCTPAH is a private hospital, its collaboration with Groote Schuur Hospital means that it enjoys a very close relationship with the public sector. The cross-pollination of ideas between the various institutions has contributed to advancing knowledge of medicine in South Africa.

According to Shield, the establishment of the Digestive Diseases Centre is an important step forward for GI medicine in Cape Town. “Not only will it improve the community’s access to this important field of healthcare but will provide many young doctors with the opportunity to learn from some of the finest minds in the field. UCTPAH is privileged to be able to offer a service that will be of such benefit to the community.”