Road and parking lot construction in Madison, Wis. may result in travel delays and route changes to UW Health clinic and hospital locations. Please plan accordingly.Read more
Programs and research
Advanced care at UW Health
Digestive disorders can have a big impact on your health and quality of life. Our specialty clinics and researchers work to address the unique needs and challenges you might face.
The purpose of this clinic is to improve the quality of care and provide unique team care to patients with alcohol use disorder and alcohol-associated liver disease. Each patient will meet with a hepatology provider, an addiction medicine specialist, and a social worker to provide the most complete care.
The clinic allows providers to optimize the management of complications of liver disease, including cirrhosis, to improve the patient's quality of life. We also provide and connect patients with resources for both alcohol counseling and mental health counseling, as needed.
Several medical conditions can cause trouble swallowing. Our clinic investigates the cause of swallowing difficulties and helps you find the best treatment.
Sometimes cancers of the colon, esophagus, pancreas and stomach have genetic links. Doctors and counselors in our GI Genetics Clinic help evaluate the risk for you and your family. They put together a plan to screen you for cancer so you can get early treatment if the disease develops.
Often GI problems develop or get worse during pregnancy. This specialty clinic offers care to women who are pregnant, have recently delivered or are considering pregnancy. We tailor our services to protect the health of you and your baby.
Short-term individual and group services supporting your digestive health condition. In-person and virtual options available.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). They cause inflammation of your intestines. Our IBD Clinic focuses on helping you find an eating plan that helps control your symptoms.
There’s a lot involved in dealing with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Teens who’ve had help managing their health as children have much to learn about caring for themselves as they become adults. Our IBD Transition Clinic helps teenagers take charge of their IBD.
Comprehensive care for patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Each patient seen in the MLHC is evaluated by a hepatology provider (liver specialist) to determine the most effective care plan. In addition to NAFLD and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) care, the clinic provides care for patients with cirrhosis or liver cancer from NAFLD. Much of any necessary testing can be completed in the clinic, including labs and elastography (to measure liver scarring). Educational materials are reviewed, and a nutrition plan is discussed, utilizing our nutrition services. Some patients may qualify for behavioral health services or a medical weight loss program tailored to patients with NAFLD. Our close partnership with Bariatric Surgery, Endocrinology and Transplant Surgery allows us to connect patients with other services that may improve their overall health.
Improving care through research
Through research and clinical trials, we learn more about digestive diseases and how to treat them best. What we learn allows us to offer innovative therapies. They can bring hope when you’re dealing with a serious illness.Learn more about our research
Conditions and treatments
The organs of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract make up your digestive system. Your liver, pancreas and gallbladder are part of your digestive system as well. Digestive disorders can affect any organ of the digestive system. Our experienced providers treat the full range of digestive conditions.
Many people experience digestive symptoms in their abdomen. Conditions we treat that might present with abdominal symptoms include:
Chronic functional abdominal pain
Your colon helps absorb most of the water from food that gets digested. What remains — stool — moves through your colon and then exits your body.
Conditions of the colon we treat include:
Your esophagus is the tube that moves food from your throat to your stomach. Conditions of the esophagus we treat include:
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Swallowing difficulty (dysphagia)
Your gallbladder stores the bile made in your liver. Bile helps your body digest fats. Your pancreas makes enzymes that are important for digestion. It also produces insulin, the hormone that helps your body use sugar for energy.
Conditions of the gallbladder and pancreas we treat include:
Your rectum is the last portion of your colon, or large intestine. It’s attached to your anus, the opening at the end of the digestive tract that allows stool to exit your body.
Conditions of the anus and rectum we treat include:
Most of the digestion of the foods you eat takes place in your small intestine. Conditions of the small intestine we treat include:
Other digestive conditions we treat include:
Gastrointestinal problems during pregnancy
We personalize care for your digestive system based on your specific needs. In many cases, simple treatments such as nutritional therapy or medication are helpful.
If other treatments aren’t helpful, your doctors may recommend surgery. We offer the most advanced surgeries, including minimally invasive procedures. These procedures use tiny incisions. Compared to open surgery they often lead to a speedier recovery and result in less pain.
Changing what and how you eat may improve your digestive health. Our registered dietitians offer nutrition counseling and guidance.
Fistula treatment with setons
Hemorrhoid surgery, including hemorrhoid banding and hemorrhoid removal
Rectal exam under anesthesia (no pouch)
Rectal exam under anesthesia (with pouch)
Rectovaginal fistula repair
Removal of anal warts
Sphincter repair for incontinence
Sphincter-saving surgery for rectal cancer
Surgical treatment of noncancerous anorectal disease
Transanal surgical removal of rectal tumors
We create an opening in the abdomen called a stoma. The stoma provides another way to remove waste from the intestines. These procedures can be temporary or permanent treatments for cancer, illness or trauma.
Enterostomal therapy consultation and treatment
Ileal pouch reconstruction
Ileostomy takedown with ileal pouch
The small intestine, large intestine or rectum can be blocked or damaged by disease. We use bowel surgery to remove the affected bowel sections and then reconnected the healthy parts to restore function.
Abdominoperineal resection of the bowel
Segmental resection of the colon and rectum
Surgical resection for complex Crohn's disease
Surgery for colon and rectal cancer
Surgery for inflammatory bowel disease and diverticulitis
Upper gastrointestinal surgery
Digestive services all under one roof
We offer most of our services through the Digestive Health Center in Madison, Wis. With a referral from your primary care provider, we’ll get you the help you need.
Meet our team
Teaming up to serve you
When you turn to UW Health for help with a digestive illness, you’ll have a team of expert doctors at your side.
The team includes GI specialists and doctors who focus on digestive health. Radiologists, anesthesiologists and surgeons often have roles as well. They’re supported by patient educators, nutritionists, health psychologists and others, all working together to help you feel better.
Tests and diagnosis
Advanced testing for the right diagnosis
We use sophisticated tests to diagnose digestive disorders. They help us get you the best possible treatment. In some cases, you can receive treatments at the same time as your diagnostic test.
A colonoscopy allows us to see the inside of your colon. We use a special instrument with a camera on its tip that is inserted into your rectum.
Preparing for your procedures
Find resources to help you prepare for your colonoscopy procedure, including prep instructions: Preparing for colonoscopy prep kit
Endoscopy allows us to examine your digestive tract. We use a long, flexible tube — an endoscope — with a camera on its tip.
Balloon-assisted deep enteroscopy
Endoscopic mucosal resection
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
HALO radiofrequency ablation
Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy
The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy has recognized UW Health for its commitment to quality, safety and patient care.
Resources to help you prepare
Learn more about the procedures:
HF 8067: Getting ready for an enteroscopy
HF 4516: Getting ready for an ERCP
Other tests and procedures we offer through Digestive Health include: