The Digestive Diseases Institute at Shaare Zedek

Digestive Diseases are medical conditions affecting the general population in higher percentages than most conditions and therefore deserve the strong focus of Shaare Zedek. Since opening its doors in 2010, the new Digestive Diseases Institute at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center reports that the number of patients treated has more than tripled in comparison to the number of gastroenterological cases prior to its opening. Professor Eran Goldin, known as one of Israel’s leading figures for the diagnosis and treatment of complex digestive diseases, serves as the Institute’s Director.

The Institute is made up of several units, including the Endoscopy Unit under the direction of Dr. Dov Wengrover, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Center (headed by Professor Goldin), the Neurogastroenterologic Service and the Pelvic Floor Unit (directed by Dr. Joseph Lysy), the Pancreatic Billairy Center (headed by Dr. Alain Dancour), and the Liver Unit (directed by Dr. Yoav Lurie). Additional staff include Dr. Julian Paz, Dr. Ariella Shitrit and Dr. Ina Gapanovich who act as senior specialists in the Institute.

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Professor Goldin reports that a variety of new services are now being offered at Shaare Zedek. Included is a comprehensive center for the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), a condition which is known to exist in high numbers within the Israeli population.

Included within the recently expanded team of digestive disease specialists on the Shaare Zedek team are internationally renowned experts in the use of Endoscopic Ultrasound (EU). EU is a technology that allows for the use of ultrasound imaging deep within the digestive tract, which is a critical benefit for the diagnosis, analysis and treatment of a variety of digestive diseases including cancers of the digestive tract. Shaare Zedek is today the only hospital in all of Israel that performs certain complex surgical procedures of the esophagus via laparoscopic methods.

As Israel’s most active maternity hospital with over 22,000 annual deliveries, the Institute has also dedicated itself to assisting pregnant women with digestive disorders and a dedicated clinic for this purpose has also opened in recent months.

As part of the new advancements offered by the Institute for Digestive Diseases, Shaare Zedek is increasing its resolve to help patients to take preventative action to avoid the onset of costly diseases such as colon cancer and other diseases of the lower digestive tract. It is well known that the most appropriate action to take in this regard, and one which is practiced by millions of people each year, is a colonoscopy. By offering diagnosticians a clear image of the colon via the colonoscope, tumors and other dangerous growths and blockages can be identified and when necessary, removed.

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Like all of Shaare Zedek’s leading departments, research is an area of major of activity in the Institute, involving numerous local, national and international projects both of a clinical and basic scientific nature. The Institute has become a resource of research and clinical knowledge for many leading international experts in digestive diseases and in recent months Shaare Zedek has held several high-level symposia attracting the participation of prominent gastroenterologists from around the world. The major research area of the Institute involves inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), liver diseases and the investigational projects in endoscopy and new technologies.

Our research teams are investigating the risk factors involved in the various cancers. For example, colon cancer occurs in approximately 5% of the normal population above the age of 40 and, as stated, if detected in time, can be cured in 80-90% of patients. We have discovered that colon cancer occurs in 18-25% of the patients who have a strong family history of this type of cancer.

The Digestive Diseases Institute represents one of the most ambitious development projects at Shaare Zedek today. The hospital has committed itself to a project currently budgeted at over $5 million to fully renovate and equip the Institute. This project will be made possible through the support of friends of Shaare Zedek from around the world.

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