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Digestive Disease Center

Promoting digestive health through excellence in clinical care, research and education.
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MUSC Recognized as National Pancreas Foundation Center

The National Pancreas Foundation (NPF), a nonprofit organization that provides hope for those suffering from pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, [has announced] the designation of 30 National Pancreas Foundation Centers, [including MUSC]. NPF Centers are at premier healthcare facilities that focus on multidisciplinary treatment of pancreatitis, treating the "whole patient" with a focus on the best possible outcomes and an improved quality of life.

"The newly designated NPF Centers will be of great benefit to the whole community," said NPF Center Task Force member Dr. Christopher E. Forsmark. "Having the NPF Center designation will help distinguish institutions whose focus is on patient centered care either for the treatment of their disease or to get an expert second opinion."

Read the official NPF press release.


Located in beautiful Charleston, SC, the MUSC Digestive Disease Center, based in the Ashley River Tower, has a well-established team of physicians, nurses, and health care providers dedicated to the long-term care of patients with digestive disorders.

Dr. Peter B. Cotton, founder of the M.U.S.C. Digestive Disease Center
Dr. Peter B. Cotton

Our Vision

Established in 1995 by Dr. Peter B. Cotton, the DDC brings together gastroenterologists, surgeons, and radiologists who have special interests in dealing with various digestive problems. It is our goal to provide comprehensive clinical services for patients with known or suspected digestive disorders, incorporating the disciplines of gastroenterology, hepatology, nutrition, pediatric services ... plus many others.

The Challenge

The management of digestive diseases, which has improved enormously over the last two to three decades, has also become more complex as the number of treatments has rapidly grown. The challenge is to combine the proper care using the most effective treatments in combination with competent and caring medical advice.

The majority of patients are managed with medical, endoscopic, and non-operative therapies; but, when these treatments are ineffective, patients are referred for surgical management. This has made it essential for specialists of different expertise to work together to provide the most effective and efficient treatment for their patients.

Specialized Care

The DDC's specialized faculty has particular expertise in a variety of approaches to digestive health.

  • advanced diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy;
  • esophageal diseases and general motility disorders;
  • liver disease (and transplantation);
  • complex pancreatic and biliary diseases;
  • interventional radiology;
  • nutritional disorders;
  • ano-rectal and colonic problems;
  • laparoscopic surgery;
  • pediatric gastroenterology and surgery; and
  • GI oncology (in association with the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center).

The DDC also offers services at the Ralph H. Johnson Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) and Charleston Memorial Hospital.

Clinical Research Trials

A clinical trial is a research study involving human volunteers to help answer specific health questions. Carefully conducted clinical trials are the fastest and safest way to find treatments that work in people and ways to improve health.

Participants in clinical trials can play a more active role in their own health care, gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available, and help others by contributing to medical research.

DDC Research efforts are managed by the Digestive Disease Research Center and is supported by the DDC/GI clinic, endoscopy staff and physicians.

Illustration of the human digestive system

Why should I visit the Medical University of South Carolina?

photo of Ashley River Tower
MUSC Ashley River Tower

Your doctor will probably agree with you about your preference to come to MUSC. We offer excellent patient care at a state-of-the-art facility, in a historic setting in the southeastern United States. Our doctors are nationally ranked among the highest in the nation. We employ a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of patients using the latest technology in medicine.

Come see why MUSC is changing what's possible®.

Read more about why you should choose MUSC for your healthcare needs.