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Gastrointestinal Disease Specialist

David  W. Ranson, MD, FACS -  - General & Vascular Surgeon

David W. Ranson, MD, FACS

General & Vascular Surgeon located in South Charleston, WV

Your gastrointestinal tract is made up of a series of complex organs that work together to promote the digestion, absorption, and movement of food throughout your body. David W. Ranson, MD, FACS, knows how quickly a small complication in your digestive tract can lead to a major gastrointestinal problem. That’s why he diagnoses and treats all types of gastrointestinal disease at his office in South Charleston, West Virginia. If you’re experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms, Dr. Ranson can help. Call his office, or schedule an appointment online now to learn more.

Gastrointestinal Disease Q & A


What is gastrointestinal disease?

Gastrointestinal disease is a broad term to describe an array of conditions that can affect your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Your GI tract consists of your stomach, esophagus, small intestine, large intestine, and rectum. The liver and gallbladder also play a vital role in your body’s digestive system.

There are two categories for gastrointestinal diseases: functional disorders and structural disorders. Functional disorders occur when your GI tract looks perfectly normal, but it isn’t working as it should. Structural disorders happen when there’s something visibly wrong with your GI tract.

What are the most common types of gastrointestinal disease?

The most common functional gastrointestinal diseases are constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which typically causes diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain.

Most functional disorders respond negatively to stress, caffeine, high-dairy diets, and physical inactivity.

Dr. Ranson treats a variety of structural gastrointestinal disorders at his office, including:


Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels toward the end of your rectum or anus. They can be painful, itchy, uncomfortable, or cause no symptoms at all.

Colon polyps

Colon polyps are small clumps of cells that form growths in your colon. They’re typically harmless, but some polyps can progress to colon cancer.

Colon cancer

Colon cancer, or colorectal cancer, happens when cancerous cells clump together in the colon or rectum. While it most commonly develops in people over the age of 50, colon cancer rates are on the rise in younger adults, so it’s important to schedule regular screenings.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

IBD describes several inflammatory conditions, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which cause chronic inflammation, pain, and diarrhea.

How do doctors diagnose gastrointestinal disease?

Dr. Ranson uses a variety of diagnostic tools and imaging tests to diagnose gastrointestinal disease. Depending on your medical history, symptoms, and results of your physical exam with Dr. Ranson, he may recommend one or more of the following tests:

  • Colonoscopy
  • Gastroscopy (endoscopy)
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • In-office ultrasound

These imaging tests and diagnostic procedures give Dr. Ranson a better view of the inside of your digestive system, so he can identify any structural problems with your GI tract.

What are the treatments for gastrointestinal disease?

Treating functional disorders often involves noninvasive treatments, such as dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, and medication. To treat a structural disorder, however, Dr. Ranson may recommend surgery.

With decades of surgical experience, Dr. Ranson performs a variety of laparoscopic procedures to treat gastrointestinal disease. Laparoscopic procedures involve making small incisions through the abdomen or pelvis to treat your GI tract.

When compared to open surgery, laparoscopic procedures result in less pain, scarring, bleeding, and recovery time, making them a minimally invasive choice for surgery.

To schedule a consultation with David W. Ranson, MD, FACS, call his office or book an appointment online today.

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