Bhavesh B. Shah, M.D., a gastroenterologist, has been named the Medical Director of Interventional Gastroenterology at Long Beach Medical Center and the Gastroenterology Director at the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute (TCI) at Long Beach Medical Center. Dr. Shah also is an associate with Long Beach Gastroenterology Associates.
With the arrival of Dr. Shah, Long Beach Medical Center will join only a few hospitals in the region, and become the only hospital in Long Beach, to offer an advanced level of gastrointestinal diagnostic and therapeutic care.
Dr. Shah is an expert in interventional endoscopy, which is an area of gastroenterology focused on providing patients with safe and effective alternatives to invasive diagnostic testing or surgery. Some of the common interventional endoscopy procedures are endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS).
EUS is an imaging technique that uses sound waves to produce an image that is interpreted during the procedure. It’s commonly used to diagnose and stage cancers. Dr. Shah also specializes in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, as well as cancers affecting the gastrointestinal tract.
The use of this advanced technology allows physicians to diagnose and remove early cancers and treat more complicated diseases in a minimally invasive fashion. “Interventional endoscopy utilizes state-of-the-art technology,” says Dr. Shah. “Using a specialized flexible scope placed through the mouth and into the stomach while the patient is sedated, we are able to look at organs and structures that are not able to be seen during traditional endoscopy. Before this type of technology, a patient would likely require surgery for the physician to view these parts of the body with great detail and take biopsies.”
“From the stomach and small intestine, we are able to visualize the liver, both kidneys, the pancreas, bile duct and lymph nodes. We can diagnose and stage cancer that would affect any of those areas,” says Dr. Shah. “All of this can be done within an hour and in an outpatient setting.”
Utilizing Dr. Shah’s expertise, the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute will be expanding its Gastroenterology Cancer Program. TCI will now be able to diagnose and treat a much wider variety of patients suffering from esophagus, stomach, colon, rectal, liver and pancreatic cancers.
“With our new capabilities, we’re now able to offer the full scope of diagnostic tools for gastrointestinal cancer patients,” says Cathy Kopy, director, MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute, Long Beach Medical Center. “Patients will no longer have to visit other centers for advanced diagnostic testing preventing a delay in care, which is particularly vital for a patient with a potential cancer diagnosis.”
“With this technology, it elevates the level of care provided by the entire care team, whether that’s gastroenterology, surgery, oncology or radiology,” says Dr. Shah. “It expedites diagnosis and treatment all in one location and offers the patient specialized expertise and the latest technology.”
As a practicing physician and physician leader, Dr. Shah’s dual-role partnership across the organization along with leadership, physicians and nursing staff will help to establish a center of excellence for patients and their management of GI diseases. His goal is to establish the future of comprehensive gastroenterology care in Long Beach.
Dr. Shah previously served as the Director of Endoscopic Ultrasound Services at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts. He was also one of the Core Physician Specialists in Advanced Endoscopy at St. Peter’s Healthcare Partners and Albany Gastroenterology Consultants in Albany, New York.