UH St. John Medical Center adds suite of advanced endoscopy services
UH Clinical Update - October 2017
University Hospitals patients on the Westside now have convenient access to the full complement of advanced endoscopy procedures, in a location close to home.
Gastroenterologist Shaffer R. S. Mok, MD, MBS, based at UH St. John Medical Center, recently joined UH after completing his fellowship training in interventional endoscopy at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Penn. He says he’s excited to bring the latest endoscopic treatment advances to the local community.
“It’s an exciting time to be in advanced endoscopy and gastroenterology because now the technology is finally catching up to the ideas that people have had,” he says. “Also, patients have the right to be more comfortable in approaching their procedures. It’s difficult enough to get up and out to a hospital at an early time without having to travel several hours for your procedure.”
One popular endoscopic procedure now available at UH St. John is the radiofrequency treatment Stretta for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
“There are no limitations should the patient need surgery in the future, and it has a very high chance of getting patients off their reflux medicines,” Dr. Mok says. “That’s very important in this day and age with all the bad press about proton pump inhibitor therapy.”
Dr. Mok also offers endoscopic incisional therapies for refractory esophageal strictures that have not done well with standard dilation, as well as cryotherapy for Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer. Also in the cancer realm, he can provide endoscopic submucosal dissection to remove precancerous and cancerous tissue from the esophagus, stomach and, in some cases, the colon. Certain large, flat colon polyps can also be removed during a colonoscopy using a specialized Histolock snare.
For patients who have gastrointestinal bleeding whose source hasn’t been identified through an upper endoscopy or colonoscopy, Dr. Mok provides the option of a single balloon enteroscopy.
“We look inside the small bowel,” he says. “There’s a lot of small bowel, and you can’t get that far using the standard endoscopes. During a single balloon enteroscopy, a transparent tube goes over the scope. It has a balloon that inflates above it, which allows that bowel to get pleated over the scope, thus shortening the distance that the scope has to travel. If you have a bleed somewhere in the small bowel, you place this scope and you can usually get it either above or below.”
Dr. Mok earned his medical degree at Ross University School of Medicine and a master’s degree in anatomy from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He completed residency training in internal medicine and fellowship training in gastroenterology at Cooper Hospital-University Medical Center in Camden, N.J. As he begins his practice here at UH and on the Westside, he says he’s looking forward to being a helpful resource for patients.
“I’m a laid-back guy, and that gives comfort to the patients,” he says. “I also make sure that they’re properly informed before coming in for their procedure, which takes off some of the burden and anxiety involved. Being available afterward and communicating appropriately with their referring doctor – relaying the results of the test in a clear and effective manner – is also important. These all make an easier procedure day for patients, which is always the goal.”
For more information about Dr. Mok’s services or to refer a patient, please call (440) 827-5296.