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Digestive System

Aparell Digestiu a Vall d'Hebron

The Digestive System Department caters for patients with digestive diseases with an emphasis on technical and human excellence.



The mission of our Department is to improve the quality of life of patients with digestive diseases, through the development of knowledge (research), and the transmission of knowledge and values (training).

The activity of the Department includes:

  • The highest quality comprehensive care, from the primary level (outpatients) to high-complexity processes.
  • Support as a reference centre for other professional groups in the specialty and related fields, such as bleeding, inflammatory diseases, digestive motility/function and pancreas.
  • University integration for developing medicine studies and participation in research networks through programmes of excellence.
  • Support for society, both in the field of associations of professionals as well as for patients, by means of initiatives to improve care for patients with digestive diseases, continuous training for professionals and general dissemination programmes.


Care activity

Hospitalisation Ward: this offers care services to the population in the surrounding SAP Mountain area and serves as a reference unit in Catalonia for the referral of patients with hard-to-diagnose/treat patients from hospitals in the Barcelona province (Mollet Hospital, Granollers Hospital, Calella Hospital, San Rafael Hospital, Vic General Hospital) or from level three hospitals from other parts of Catalonia (such as Arnau de Vilanova Hospital, in Lleida, or Josep Trueta Hospital, in Girona). It has 24 beds for hospitalisation for patients admitted with digestive diseases.

Outpatient Clinic: care and follow-up of the most complex outpatients from each area, from Monday to Friday.

Accident and Emergency: care by a Digestive System specialist available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Crohn’s Colitis Unit: provides social healthcare and control of patients with inflammatory bowel disease, both face-to-face and digitally. It is part of a comprehensive care plan for patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, with a particular focus on the changes they may undergo biologically, psychologically and socially. Its role as coordinating centre of the National Network of Crohn’s Colitis Care Units is directed by two medical specialists, a nurse and a research coordinator.

Motility Unit: helps patients with digestive disorders via a functional hospitalisation unit and the Functional Test Laboratory, where diagnostic tests and treatments are performed for patients with digestive conditions. This Unit enjoys a high level of national and international prestige and conducts studies of intestinal function both in terms of motility and malabsorption. This unit is part of the European Centre for Gastrointestinal Motility.

Bleed Unit: this Unit deals with patients with severe digestive haemorrhaging and has 4 semi critical beds for the treatment and diagnosis of acute (high, low or hidden) digestive bleeding. Admission is indicated in cases of severe digestive haemorrhage requiring continuous monitoring and which may therefore not be treated on a conventional ward. Direct patient care is the responsibility of the medical staff assigned to the Bleed Unit and they coordinate the participation of the rest of the team necessary who come from the following units: Digestive Endoscopy Unit, Anaesthesia Department, A&E Department, Surgery Department, Diagnostic Imaging Unit and Interventional Angioradiology Unit.

The Pancreatic Unit: addresses a high number of patients with acute pancreatitis, recurrent pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis (200 patients), as well as patients with adult cystic fibrosis (160 patients) and patients suffering from pancreatic cystic lesions.



The Digestive System Department’s teaching activity includes a degree at the UAB and the training of specialists in the Digestive System as part of the medical residents programme. The Department also participates in continuing education programmes for internal and external residents from the European Training Centre of the European Board of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.



The Digestive System Department carries out significant research as part of the Physiology and Digestive Physiopathology Research Group of the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute, and as part of the Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Neurogastroenterology Division of CIBERehd. We are also recognised by the Catalan Government’s AGAUR programme.

Care by a Digestive System specialist is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Research gropus
Teaching units
Related diseases
Related diagnostic tests
Related healthcare treatment
Related professionals
Dr. Javier
Santos Vicente
Digestive System
Lead Researcher
Digestive and Liver Diseases / Nursing , Gastrointestinal Physiology and Physiopathology
Dra. Carolina
Malagelada Prats
Digestive System
Gastrointestinal Physiology and Physiopathology
Dra. Carmen
Alonso Cotoner
Digestive System
Lead Researcher
Digestive and Liver Diseases / Nursing , Gastrointestinal Physiology and Physiopathology
Sra. Ester
Navarro Correal
Digestive System
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