Dr. Darrien Gaston has been a prominent gastroenterologist in Beverly for 26 years, but his patients know that he could also add the title of teacher.
That’s because Dr. Gaston takes the time to educate his patients about all aspects of their condition and the field of gastroenterology.
Dr. Gaston will admit that his specialty may not be the most well known, but he’ll gladly explain any aspect of his work as a gastroenterologist, a physician of internal medicine who specializes in diagnosing, treating and preventing diseases of the digestive system.
People see a gastroenterologist for such things as colon cancer screenings; stomach pain and gas; heartburn; anemia; ulcerative colitis; hemorrhoids; constipation; hepatitis; difficulty swallowing; acid reflux; liver diseases; irritable bowel syndrome; diarrhea; Crohn’s disease; diverticulosis; Barrett’s esophagus; and chronic pancreatitis.
“Knowledge is the first step to helping patients take control of their health,” Dr. Gaston said. “I make sure I listen to their concerns, answer their questions and then listen for more questions. When patients thoroughly understand their upcoming procedure, we are more likely to avoid complications.”
Dr. Gaston opened Metropolitan Gastroenterology Consultants, 10444 S. Western Ave., 19 years ago, and it that time he has become a leader in his field.
Gaston is the leading provider in Chicagoland for the SlimSmart Balloon, a non-surgical temporary weight loss procedure that helps people lose three times the weight they would with diet and exercise alone.
Dr. Gaston also performs procedures including colonoscopy, gastroscopy, video capsule endoscopy, and hemorrhoid banding.
He performs endoscopic procedures in his office, which offers patients the convenience of not having to go to a hospital. His office provides a comfortable and friendly environment right in the neighborhood.
He also places the SlimSmart Balloon in his office. It is part of the Orbera Managed Weight Loss System, a non-surgical weight loss procedure.
Dr. Gaston has added two more weight-loss procedures that are non-surgical for patients. One is Obalon (obalon.com), and the other is AspireAssist (aspirebariatric.com).
A St. Ignatius College Prep (1976) and Northwestern University graduate (’80), Dr. Gaston earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1984. He completed his residency at St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago in 1988 and his fellowship in gastroenterology at Cook County Hospital in 1990.
Dr. Gaston in board certified in gastroenterology by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology and the American College of Physicians. Dr. Gaston is also a member of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the Association for Bariatric Endoscopy.
The outstanding care that Dr. Gaston provides has not gone unnoticed.
The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) recognized Metropolitan Gastroenterology through its ASGE Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program.
To earn the recognition, Dr. Gaston and Metropolitan Gastroenterology had to complete a peer-review process to demonstrate competence and continued quality.
“I am honored to be recognized by ASGE,” said Dr. Gaston. “At Metropolitan Gastroenterology Consultants, we are committed to the highest standards of compliance, education and patient care. This recognition is a visible validation of our dedication.”
United Healthcare designated Dr. Gaston and Metropolitan Gastroenterology Consultants as a Premium Care Physician for 2018, the highest of four designations.
“Our facility is accredited by the Joint Commission with the Gold Seal of Approval,” Gaston said. “Our screening standards are at the absolute highest levels. The percentage of patients who need to come back—barring their personal lack of colon prep—is extremely low.”
One of the procedures that Dr. Gaston uses with great success for patients is the Orbera Managed Weight Loss System, which is FDA-approved and has been in use for over 20 years. Over 220,000 people have achieved successful long-term weight loss with the device. Clinical studies have shown that patients usually lose over three times the weight with a gastric balloon than with diet and exercise alone.
Dr. Gaston is the only gastroenterologist in Chicagoland performing this procedure. Using an endoscope, Dr. Gaston—an experienced endoscopist—inserts the Orbera balloon through the mouth and into the stomach of the mildly sedated patient. Flexible and durable, the balloon is then filled with a safe, salt-based solution until it’s about the size of a grapefruit.
Dr. Gaston has placed more balloons than any other gastroenterologist in the city.
“It’s like having an upper GI exam—quick and non-surgical,” Dr. Gaston said. “There are no incisions, no stitches and no staples—no hospital stay. The whole thing takes about 20 minutes.”
The Orbera balloon is kept in place for six months and helps control portion size by taking up room in the stomach.
“The device is there to help you feel full. There can be significant weight loss in those six months.”
Dr. Gaston provides Orbera patients with 24/7 access in case they need to ask him questions or address concerns. He partners his patients with a wellness coach, so they learn to establish a healthy lifestyle and eating habits.
After six months, the balloon is removed just as easily, but the support continues for a full year after the procedure.
Dr. Gaston offers free initial consultations for those who are interested in finding out if they are suitable candidates for the Orbera balloon procedure.
Dr. Gaston will share his knowledge when he is featured in an upcoming segment of “Living Healthy Chicago,” a show on WGN-TV.
For more information about Dr. Gaston and Metropolitan Gastroenterology Consultants, call (773) 238-1126 or visit metrogichicago.com.