Patients seen in a group medical office benefit from the combined wisdom of the team of doctors who can confer on challenging causes. On the other hand, there’s something inherently comforting, even homey, about a physician in a solo practice. Patients of Dr. Nizar Charafeddine benefit from both scenarios. Greater Houston Gastroenterology is home to 17 gastroenterologists, but Dr. Charafeddine is the only physician at the Pearland location.
Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, Dr. Charafeddine came to the United States as a young physician to complete training in internal medicine at the prestigious Good Samaritan Hospital of Maryland Johns Hopkins University Health System. He went on to finish a postdoctoral fellowship in gastroenterology at Yale University. “I chose gastroenterology because I understood the field intuitively,” he says. “As an internist, it came naturally to me as a subspecialty.”
He and his Pearland support team have provided personalized treatment for digestive disorders in the community for over 10 years, while Dr. Charafeddine retains access to his 16 fellow GI specialists should a patient need transfer to a hospital or follow-up care in another area of Houston. “I can easily make referrals to my associates when needed,” he says, “but my staff is well-trained in taking care of our patients. We devote time to each patient and get to know them as individuals.” Their Pearland office makes it convenient for patients to received specialized care close to home.
During his medical career, Dr. Charafeddine has seen incredible advancements made in diagnostics and therapies for treating gastrointestinal diseases and disorders. “It’s an exciting time to be a gastroenterologist,” he says, citing areas where recent advancements have made significant quality of life improvements for patients. “We used to have little success treating hepatitis C, but today it’s virtually curable.”
Inflammatory bowel diseases—Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis—can now be treated with medicines referred to as biologics to help control symptoms. “We see much improvement in our patients’ quality of life,” says Dr. Charafeddine. He is a proud active member of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and is one of the sponsors of the Houston Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis walk at the Houston Zoo on May 14 at 7 a.m.
Much of the practice is devoted to in-office screening services including lab work, upper GI endoscopies, video capsule endoscopy (Pillcam) to examine the small intestine, and colonoscopies for colorectal cancer detection and prevention. Dr. Charafeddine can provide care for the entire gastrointestinal tract, including the follow-up care of organ transplants, and is involved in clinical research and consultative services for abdominal ailments. “Even if two patients have the same disease,” says Dr. Charafeddine, “they have a unique set of circumstances and therefore are treated individually.”
Dr. Charafeddine is welcoming new patients and reserves appointments so you can often be seen the same day you call in urgent cases. He has privileges at local hospitals as well as medical center hospitals in Houston. A referral from your primary care physician isn’t necessary unless required by your insurance. Greater Houston Gastroenterology in Pearland looks forward to caring for you.
March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, so Greater Houston Gastroenterology encourages you to schedule a screening colonoscopy if you:
- are age 50 and over and have average risk of colon cancer
- are age 45 and over and are African American
- are experiencing symptoms such as a change in bowel movements or have blood in your stool[/one_half]
- have a family history of colon cancer or polyps and are 40 or within 10 years of your family member’s age of diagnosis
- have a genetic link to colon cancer
- have a personal history of cancer
- have ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, or Crohn’s disease[/one_half_last]
Nizar Charafeddine, MD
2813 Smith Ranch Road
Pearland, Texas 77584
Text: Pamela Hammonds
Photo: MM Photography