FMH Gastroenterology-Hepatology unit was established 16 years ago by Prof Arif Amir Nawaz. He returned to his homeland after spending more than one decade training as an Internist and Gastroenterologist in the US and painstakingly built the department at FMH into a state-of-the-art facility. The department is recognized by the College of Physicians and Surgeons for the 3 year training program for fellowship in Gastroenterology. There are six residents working towards a fellowship in Gastroenterology and the department is proud to have already trained six gastro- enterologists who are now providing services to people in their native cities. All three consultants are actively involved in academics and teach undergraduate students of MBBS and BDS in the clinical years.
The department provides endo-scopy services, 24/7 emergency services, indoor, including intensive care services and outdoor two times a week. The consultants are also available for private consultation within the hospital. There is an ever growing patient load in all these modalities of service.
Endoscopy services include diagnostic esophagogastroscopy, endoscopic variceal therapy, endoscopic band ligation, balloon and bougie dilation of strictures, colonoscopy, polypectomies and hemostasis through Argon Plasma Coagulation (APC), heater probe and hemoclipping. Advanced endoscopic services such as placement of PEG tubes for feeding and metallic esophageal stents for esophageal cancers are also available. Since the department boasts of a qualified female gastroenterologist, colonoscopy in complete privacy is provided to women who would prefer a woman to examine them.
Fluoroscopic procedures at FMH consist of Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio Pancreatography and pneumatic dilation of achalasia cardia.. Stones in the common bile duct are removed via ERCP and plastic biliary stents are used to relieve obstruction due to benign or malignant strictures in the biliary tract. Expertise at placing metallic biliary stents is also available.
There is considerable focus on research with particular focus on chronic liver disease that includes viral hepatitis B and C and cirrhosis. The department is credited with several research publications in peer reviewed journals and regularly contributes to poster presentations in local and international Gastroenterology-Hepatology conferences. There is an ongoing collaborative research project on “Minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy” with other centres in all four provinces.
There is close collaboration with a Gujranwala based NGO (Gujranwala Liver Foundation) that provides diagnostic and treatment facilities to poor hepatitis B and C patients. The Clinical Director Dr Asad Chaudhry is visiting faculty at FMH and the department also provides human resource support to the organization.
The department envisions the creation of a Liver Transplant Centre which, to start with, would evaluate patients and their donors for liver transplantation and also provide them with post liver transplant advice and management. This will be further expanded into carrying out indigenous liver transplants in collaboration with Department of Surgery. Endoscopic Ultrasound is also a service that the department would like to start in the near future.
Dr. Arif Amir Nawaz – Professor and Head of Department
Associate Dean (Clinical Affairs) FMH College of Medicine & Dentistry
Hospital Director – Fatima Memorial Hospital
Dr. Bushra Ali – Assistant Professor
Dr. Aftab Haider Alvi – Assistant Professor of Gastroenterology