GASTROENTEROLOGY

The Gastroenterology-Hepatology unit at Fatima Memorial Hospital was established 16 years ago by Prof. Arif Amir Nawaz. He returned to his homeland after spending more than one decade training as an Internist and Gastroenterologist in the US and painstakingly built the department at Fatima Memorial Hospital into a state-of-the-art fac-ility that it is now. The depar-tment is recognized by the College of Physicians and Surgeons for the 3 year training program for fellowship in Gastroenterology. It is also recognized by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council for under-graduate teaching of students of Fatima Memorial Medical and Dental College, Lahore. There are six residents working towards a fellowship in Gastro-enterology and the department is proud to have already trained seven Gastro-enterologists who are now providing services to people in their native cities. All three consultants are actively involved in academics and teach undergraduate students of MBBS and BDS in the clinical years. A recent addition to the department is a Specialist Registrar who has special interest in res-earch, postgraduate and under-graduate teaching.

The Gastroenterology department at Fatima Memorial Hospital provides endoscopy services, round the clock emergency services, indoor, including intensive care services and outdoor two times a week. There is close liaison with other departments in management of patients who might also have Gastroenterology-Hepatology related issues. The consultants are also available for private consul-tation within the hospital. There is an ever growing patient load in all these modalities of service.

Endoscopy services include diagnostic esophagogastroscopy, endoscopic variceal therapy, end-oscopic band ligation, balloon and bougie dilation of strictures, colonoscopy, polypectomies and hemostasis through Argon Plasma Coagulation (APC), heater probe and hemoclipping. Advanced end-oscopic services such as placement of PEG tubes for feeding and metallic esophageal stents for esophageal cancers are also available.

Fluoroscopic procedures offered consist of Endoscopic Retrograde CholangioPancreatography and pn-eumatic dilation of achalasia cardia. Stones in the common bile duct are removed via ERCP and plastic biliary stents are used to relieve obstruction due to benign or malignant strictures in the biliary tract. Expertise at placing metallic biliary stents is also available.

There is considerable focus on research with particular focus on chronic liver disease that includes viral hepatitis B and C and cirrhosis. The department is credited with several research publications in peer reviewed journals and regularly contributes to poster presentations in local and inter-national GastroenterologyHepa-tology conferences. Collabo-ration over a research project on “Minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy” with centres in all four provinces has recently concluded. These days, the Gastroenterology depar-tment is working on another multi-centre project on “Acute on chronic liver failure”

There is close collaboration with a Gujranwala based NGO (Gujranwala Liver Foundation) that provides diagnostic and treatment facilities to poor hepatitis B and C patients. The Clinical Director Dr. Asad Chaudhry is a visiting faculty mem-ber at Fatima Memorial Hospital and the department provides human resource support to the organization as well.

The department envisions the creation of a Liver Transplant Centre which, to start with, would evaluate patients and their donors for liver transplantation and also provide them with post liver transplant advice and manag-ement. This will be further expanded into carrying out indigenous liver transplants in collaboration with Department of Surgery. Endoscopic Ultrasound is also a service that the department would like to start in the near future.

Since the department boasts of a qualified female gastroenterologist, colonoscopy in complete privacy is provided to women who would prefer a woman to examine them.

CONSULTANTS AVAILABLE:

Professor Dr.Arif Amir Nawaz

Head Of Department

(Hospital Director)

Dr. Bushra Ali

Assistant Professor

Dr. Aftab Haider Alvi

Assistant Professor

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