Advanced Endoscopy Program
We focus on diseases of the pancreas, biliary tract, and gastrointestinal tract, and evaluate patients with a variety of symptoms and diseases, many of whom require advanced endoscopic procedures. Our team members work closely with referring physicians to promptly perform procedures, consultations, and discuss management options. Using a multidisciplinary approach to complex conditions, we collaborate with pathologists, cytologists, surgeons, oncologists, and radiologists to deliver care.
Our endoscopic ultrasound program is among the largest of its kind in New England, and our experienced physicians perform approximately 1,500 procedures annually. This sophisticated procedure includes fine-needle aspiration of masses, cysts, and lymph nodes located in and around the digestive tract. This highly sophisticated technique is used to stage malignancies of the esophagus, rectum, and pancreas.
Other outpatient endoscopic procedures we perform include:
- Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), a diagnostic endoscopic procedure for the upper gastrointestinal tract
- Enteroscopy, an endoscopic procedure used to examine the small intestine
- Colonoscopy with difficult polyp removal
- Sigmoidoscopy stenting of the esophagus, duodenum and colon to treat obstructions
Harry Aslanian, MDGastroenterologyHarry Aslanian, MD, is known for his highly advanced skills in using specialized endoscopic techniques and technology to treat gastrointestinal disorders of the pancreas, bile duct, esophagus, stomach, small bowel, and colon. He specializes in the performance of endoscopic procedures including ERCP, endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), upper endoscopy (EGD) and colonoscopy with endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) and endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) to diagnose and treat pre-cancerous lesions. Dr. Aslanian has expertise in evaluating and treating gastrointestinal disorders including pancreas cysts and masses, bile duct stones, Barrett's esophagus, endoscopic treatment (POEM) for achalasia, and endoscopic stenting of blockages of the intestine and bile duct. He uses an endoscope, a thin tube attached to a magnified camera, often with an ultrasound probe at its tip, to examine the intestine, bile duct, pancreas, and surrounding structures for accurate diagnosis. When an abnormality is seen, it can be sampled or removed from the intestinal mucosal surface or deeper sampling can be achieved with the passage of a small needle (FNA/FNB ) through the scope under ultrasound for diagnosis. “Momentum is building to lead to significant improvements in the endoscopic treatment of early gastrointestinal cancer,” says Dr. Aslanian, who is director of Yale Medicine's Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship Program. “I continuously seek to improve every endoscopic procedure I perform with attention to detail, education and research.” Dr. Aslanian, a professor of medicine (digestive diseases) at Yale School of Medicine, has authored numerous research publications and endoscopic guidelines and has been recognized as a “top doctor” in regional and national rankings.
James Farrell, MBChBGenetics, Gastroenterology, Gastrointestinal Oncology, HepatologyJames Farrell, MBChB, is an internationally recognized expert in gastrointestinal endoscopy and pancreatic diseases. He maintains a busy clinical practice focused on all aspects of interventional endoscopy, gastrointestinal cancer, and pancreatic diseases including endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) evaluation of pancreatic cancer, pancreatic cysts, pancreatitis, and individuals at risk for pancreatic malignancy. “My main clinical commitment is to take care of the patient, and specifically improve outcomes for patients with pancreatic disease, either by early diagnosis or by optimizing treatment,” he says. “I tell patients and their families that there are many diagnostic and treatment options available, and my goal is to guide them in choosing the appropriate options using evidence-based medicine.” In addition to his clinical work and research, Dr. Farrell is director of the Yale Medicine Pancreatic Diseases Program, which brings together a variety of pancreatic specialists including gastroenterologists, surgeons, oncologists, and nurses who focus on pancreatic disease. “The multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and management of pancreatic disease ensures patient access to the “state-of-the-art“ advances in this field, and ensures best patient outcomes,“ Dr. Farrell says. Dr. Farrell has addressed pancreatic disease on a national and international level as a member of such organizations as the NIH/NCI Pancreas Cancer Task Force. As a researcher, he is known for his development of personalized therapy approaches and early detection biomarkers for pancreatic cancer. He is professor of medicine (digestive diseases) at Yale School of Medicine.
Priya Jamidar, MBChBGastroenterology, HepatologyPriya Jamidar, MBChB, is director of the Endoscopy Program and an expert in biliary and pancreatic disease treatment and research. His main interests relate to the endoscopic evaluation and management of pancreaticobiliary disorders, including bile duct and pancreatic duct stones and strictures, pancreatic cancers, bile duct cancers, and pancreas divisum. Dr. Jamidar has made major contributions to the field including the endoscopic management of biliary disorders in pregnancy, and the treatment of acute and chronic pancreatitis and Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction. He also has expertise in endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) with fine needle aspiration and biopsy (FNA/FNB), pancreatic pseudocyst drainage, ampullectomy, and pancreatoscopy. He is one of the world’s most experienced ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) practitioner, having performed more than 16,000 procedures. Dr. Jamidar is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology, and prides himself on his patient-centered care. He is dedicated to providing patients with the best possible state-of-the-art medical care. “I enjoy helping patients achieve optimal outcomes by completing procedures that have often been unsuccessful elsewhere,” Dr. Jamidar says. “I like using my hands, as well as thinking through clinical problems, and this specialty offers both.” Dr. Jamidar says the fact that he can make a real difference in people’s lives and health is what makes him passionate about his work. “I tell patients that we always put their well-being first and that we have a lot of experience and skill in this area and want to provide the best possible care,” he says.
Thiruvengadam Muniraj, MDInternal Medicine, Genetics, Gastroenterology, Gastrointestinal OncologyThiruvengadam Muniraj, MD, is an advanced endoscopist who treats patients with pancreatic diseases, including acute and chronic pancreatitis. He performs a full range of endoscopic procedures, including endoscopic ultrasound and ERCP procedures, which combine X-rays and endoscopies, for gastric bypass patients. As a researcher, Dr. Muniraj is interested in acute and chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, pancreas, advanced endoscopy, biliary diseases, and endoscopic management of bariatric patients. Dr. Muniraj is the director of Yale’s Endoscopic Bariatric Program, where he performs various weight-loss procedures, including endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, stoma narrowing, and PEG placement, which involves placing a feeding tube through the abdomen and into the stomach. Dr. Muniraj is an associate professor of medicine (digestive diseases) at Yale School of Medicine.
Anil Nagar, MDMedical Oncology, GastroenterologyAnil Nagar MD, is a gastroenterologist and member of Yale Medicine’s advanced endoscopy team. He has more than 20 years of experience treating patients with complex gastrointestinal disorders. “I believe in patient-centered care, with an emphasis on shared decision-making and patient preference in clinical management decisions,” Dr. Nagar says. Dr. Nagar performs all advanced endoscopic procedures to manage bile duct stones and blockage; pancreas diseases and cancer; early intestinal cancers; management of blockage of the esophagus, stomach, and colon; and management of swallowing disorders. He has a special interest and skills to perform minimally invasive endoscopic procedures, and was one of the earliest gastroenterologists in Connecticut to introduce two highly specialized nonsurgical treatments: endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) to remove large benign and early malignant growths from the esophagus, stomach, and colon, through an endoscope; and per oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM), which uses endoscopy to treat swallowing disorders, including achalasia, which is caused by loss of function in the lower esophageal sphincter. He also uses the latter to treat certain patients with gastroparesis—or delayed stomach emptying. An associate professor of digestive diseases at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Nagar has published scientific articles in Gastroenterology , and served on the editorial boards of medical journals and educational publications in gastroenterology. He was previously director of endoscopy at the VA Connecticut Health Care System in West Haven.