Women's Gastrointestinal Health Center


Vol. 10, No. 1
March, 2000

  • Women's Gastrointestinal Health Center

  • Hernia Surgery: A New Look...A Speedier Recovery

  • Legislative Grant Supports Specialized Endoscopy Equipment

  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation Gives Patient a Starring Role in His Daughter's Wedding

  • An Update on Childhood Immunizations

  • Children Get a Dose of TLC with Winthrop's ‘Positions for Comfort' Program

  • Winthrop's Pediatric Health Immunization Program is a Statewide Model

  • Hearing Screening Performed on All Newborns

  • Spanish Language Course for Pediatric Residents

  • Psychological Support Adds Compassion to Pediatric Care and Training

  • Long Island Regional Poison Control Center at Winthrop Warns:
    ‘Children Act Fast - So Do Poisons'

  • Bereavement Support Helps Parents Cope with "Hidden Loss"

  • Nursing Informatics Enhances Patient Care

  • Reverend Winfried R. Hess Appointed Director of Pastoral Care and Education

  • Auxiliary Receives HANYS Advocacy Award

  • John F. Aloia, MD and Joan Cox Elected to Winthrop's Board of Directors

  • Copyright

    Back to Publications


  • Kavita Kongara, MD, Director, The Women's Health Support Center for Gastroenterology at Winthrop (seated), and Maureen Hoffman, RN, BS, Motility Coordinator, review the results of a patient's manometry test.
    As part of its demonstrated commitment to the health of women, Winthrop has established the Women's Health Support Center for Gastroenterology, a component of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition - a vital service of the multi-disciplinary Institute for Digestive Disorders.

    Directed by Kavita Kongara, MD, the Center provides compassionate care for women who are experiencing digestive problems. Dr. Kongara's gender-focused approach is applied to evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. The good news is that the Cleveland Clinic-trained Dr. Kongara has had excellent success rates with male patients as well.

    Chronic abdominal and chest pain, constipation, and bowel incontinence can destroy the quality of life. To evaluate whether cardiac disease underlies the pain, Winthrop gastroenterologists work in tandem with the Hospital's Division of Cardiology to evaluate patients with chest pain. Once cardiac disease has been ruled out, patients are evaluated for acid reflux disease and related gastrointestinal diseases, including irritable bowel syndrome and gastroesophageal reflux disease, known as GERD. GERD is characterized by swallowing disorders, indigestion, and upper and lower gastrointestinal tract problems.

    Childbirth is a common cause of gastrointestinal diseases in younger women - but there could be many causes. Motility studies can yield an accurate analysis of gastrointestinal problems. Motility refers to movement - in this case, the movement of foods, wastes, and other materials through the digestive tract. Winthrop's Motility Center also provides 24-hour pH monitoring to measure the acid versus base content of the organs and fluids of the digestive system.

    Among other conditions treated, Dr. Kongara evaluates and treats esophageal and anorectal conditions, including swallowing disorders and achalasia, a rare disorder that can afflict both young and elderly people. Achalasia is a failure of the muscles to move food through the tube connecting throat and stomach. That can cause heartburn, chest pain, and regurgitation.

    At Winthrop's Motility Center, medically appropriate patients also undergo manometry - the measurement of pressure in the esophagus or rectum. Manometry is a way of measuring the strength, integrity, and contractility of sphincter muscles in both the upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts. Contractility is the ability of an organ to contract and expand as it fills with fluid.

    Dr. Kongara uses manometry and biofeedback techniques to help patients who are suffering from bowel incontinence gain strength in the rectal muscles. Maureen Hoffman, RN, BS, Motility Coordinator, assists Dr. Kongara with patient education and training. "Biofeedback techniques have been shown to be up to 60-70% successful," noted Dr. Kongara.

    Women and men seeking additional information about the Division of Gastroentero-logy, Hepatology, and Nutrition are encouraged to call (516) 663-2066.



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