Digestive health is an important factor in your everyday quality of life. Lifestyle and food choices can affect proper digestion. Taking care of your digestive system is essential, as it breaks down foods into the nutrients your body needs. Drinking water, exercising and a diet with fiber can also improve your digestive health.If you neglect your digestive health, you can experience problems digesting foods and absorbing those nutrients — problems that can be both embarrassing and painful.

910 North 5th Street
Cordele, GA 31015
Fax: 229-276-2186

woman drinking water on a walk

Gastroenterology is devoted to the study, diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the digestive system that may affect the esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon), rectum, liver, gallbladder or pancreas.

Crisp Regional Hospital’s Endoscopy Suite is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and two procedure rooms. The staff specializes in gastrointestinal procedures, including:

  • Colonoscopy
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD or upper endoscopy)
  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP)
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Bravo pH monitoring


At Crisp Regional, you’ll find evaluation and treatment options for both common and uncommon gastrointestinal (GI) disease. We perform routine colonoscopy and endoscopy procedures. Our medical team provides specialized services using the latest techniques and technologies. Diagnosis and treatment at Crisp Regional includes the following conditions and services.


  • Abdominal pain
  • Barrett’s Esophagus
  • Celiac disease
  • Colon cancer
  • Chronic constipation or diarrhea
  • Chronic heartburn and acid reflux
  • Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis
  • Esophageal diseases, including Esophagitis
  • Gallstones
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Diseases (GERD)
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Hepatitis C
  • Indigestion
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s Disease and Colitis)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Liver disease
  • Motility disorders (esophageal or intestinal spasms/paralysis)
  • Pancreatic disease and disorders
  • Rectal bleeding and black stools
  • Swallowing disorders
elderly woman talking to young girl


  • Routine Colonoscopy (Cancer Screenings)
  • Routine Endoscopy, include EGD (upper endoscopy)
  • Bravo pH Monitoring
  • Drug Therapy for Hepatitis C
  • ERCP*
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
  • Liver Services
inpatient room at Crisp Regional

* ERCP is new to Crisp Regional and not found at other area hospitals. It is a specialized technique that studies the bile ducts, pancreatic duct and gallbladder. It can also be used to treat gallstones with placement of a stent that crushes the stone(s). Gallstones can also cause blockage of the bile duct from the liver and gallbladder. A biliary stent can be placed (and later removed) via ERCP as well, to open the duct for a period of time.

For patients requiring surgery, our gastroenterologists will refer to surgeons at Crisp Regional for appropriate treatment.

Meet Our Team

Vithal Kusuma, MD
Vithal Kusuma, MD
910 North 5th Street
Cordele, GA 31015
229-276-2185 Dr. Kusuma has more than 20 years of experience in the practice of gastroenterology. He completed his medical degree at Osmania University in Hyderbad, India. He served an internship in internal medicine at Booth Memorial Medical Center (New York) and residency in internal medicine at Bergen County Hospital (New Jersey). He completed fellowships in gastroenterology at Louis Weiss Memorial Medical Center and Loyola University in Chicago, IL.

James Griffith, MD
James Griffith, MD

Priya Ravindran, MD
Priya Ravindran, MD

A Patient Story

“You don’t have to leave Cordele for great medical care,” said Monica Simmons, a Crisp Regional patient on several occasions. Having suffered diverticulitis in May 2014, she experienced not only surgical care but also emergency care and the benefits of being surrounded by friends and family.

“I contacted my friend when I arrived in the Emergency Department at Crisp,” said Monica. “Shortly thereafter, Dr. Pannell – who is a surgeon and the husband of my friend – arrived to check on me!” Having experienced a few other hospital and physician encounters for various health issues, Monica’s enthusiasm for the care and expertise found at Crisp Regional is abundant.