Patient and Public Information


Located in beautiful Charleston, SC, the MUSC Digestive Disease Center, based in the Ashley River Tower, has a well-established team of physicians, nurses, and health care providers dedicated to the long-term care of patients with digestive disorders.

Established in 1995, the DDC brings together gastroenterologists, surgeons, and radiologists who have special interests in dealing with various digestive problems. It is our goal to provide comprehensive clinical services for patients with known or suspected digestive issues, incorporating the disciplines of gastroenterology, hepatology, nutrition, pediatric services ... plus many others.

Continue reading about the DDC on our About Us page.

Alcohol and Colon Cancer: Is There a Correlation?

Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. Alcohol use has been linked with a higher risk of cancers of the colon and rectum. The evidence for this is generally stronger in men than in women, but studies have found the link in both sexes.

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Colon Cancer Patient Discusses Excellent Treatment at MUSC

Video still from Live 5 news story.
Stage 3 colon cancer survivor Ivy Yeoman

WCSC Live 5 News broadcast a story focusing around colorectal cancer patient Ivy Yeoman and the excellent medical treatment she has received at MUSC. Dr. Virgilio Valeriano George also discusses some of the latest advances in colon cancer screening and surgery.

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Dr. George Takes Lead in Minimally Invasive Colon Cancer Surgery at MUSC

The rate of new cases of colorectal cancer (often referred to as colon cancer) has been decreasing for most of the past two decades. This has largely been attributed to increases in the use of colorectal cancer screening tests that allow for the detection and removal of colorectal polyps before they progress to cancer.

Photo of Dr. Virgilio George
Dr. Virgilio George

Several new advances have made simple outpatient colonoscopies faster and much easier to tolerate. In addition, minimally invasive surgical techniques no longer require an extensive abdominal incision and many months of recovery time.

Virgilio Valeriano George, M.D., Associate Professor of Surgery and Section Head for Colon and Rectal Surgery, is leading MUSC's new state-of-the-art colorectal surgery clinic. Dr. George and his team offer advanced colorectal surgical procedures using the most modern surgical equipment available. This includes the newly installed da Vinci Surgical System in MUSC's Ashley River Tower, which enables surgeons to operate through tiny incisions, with enhanced 3D-vision, offering superior precision and control.

"Our capabilities and facilities for treating colon disease here at MUSC are easily comparable with the best in the world," says Dr. George. "Due to new technology, we send over 95 percent of our patients diagnosed with colon cancer home with normal bowel function following their recovery from surgery."

Dr. George is not only an expert and leader in his field at MUSC but is also recognized for his excellence in colorectal surgery, both nationally and internationally. For a consultation or to make a referral, call (843) 876-4857.

Self-expanding Stent "Will Change [ERCP] Practice"

Photo of Dr. Greg Coté
Dr. Greg Coté

Placement of a single covered, self-expanding metallic stent via ERCP resolved benign obstructions of the pancreatic and biliary ducts as well as placement of multiple plastic stents, the current standard of care, and required fewer ERCP sessions, according to the results of a randomized controlled trial.

Gregory A. Coté, M.D., national principal investigator for the eight-center study, stated, "For appropriately selected patients who are presenting the first time with a blockage … these findings will change practice."

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Duodenal Switch "Most Powerful Bariatric Procedure"

Photo of Dr. Rana Pullat
Dr. Rana Pullat

Rana C. Pullat (aka Chitharanjan C. Pullattrana), M.D. has become the first surgeon in South Carolina to offer the weight loss procedure known as duodenal switch. "It's the most powerful bariatric procedure, even more than gastric bypass," Pullatt said.

We are so proud of our patient, Kathy Garrett, who had the duodenal switch procedure in December and was brave enough to share her story!

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Colon polyps are small growths on the inner colon lining that can turn into cancer which, in turn, could spread to the rest of the body. The removal of these polyps can be achieved during a colonoscopy without the need for surgery.

Read about other G.I. diseases.

Abdominal Pain


For many people, pain in the stomach can become so disruptive, due to frequency and/or severity, that it can seriously lower quality of life. Finding out the cause and receiving treatment is a necessity.

Read about other G.I. symptoms.



A colonoscopy allows a physician to see inside your large intestine (colon) via your anus using a long, narrow, flexible tube called a colono­scope that contains a tiny light and camera at one end.

Read about other G.I. procedures.