Dedicated to Your Digestive Health & Well-Being
About Palmetto Digestive
At Palmetto Digestive, our team of dedicated physicians maintain the highest levels of accreditation and pursue ongoing education to provide cutting-edge gastroenterology and digestive health treatment.
With locations in Mount Pleasant, West Ashley, Summerville, and the Moncks Corner area, we treat patients throughout the Charleston metropolitan area and across the Lowcountry. We look forward to meeting you!
How can we assist you?
Meet Our Physicians
Our team of experienced gastroenterology physicians are ready to be your partners in your best digestive and overall health
Dr. Michael Sagetelian, M.D.
Dr. Michael Sagatelian, M.D. specializes in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Hepatitis C, Barrett’s esophagus, and biliary disorders.
A California native, Dr. Michael Sagatelian attended the University of California at Davis, earning both a B.S. in biochemistry and an M.D before moving on to the University of California at Irvine to fulfill his internship and residency requirements. He moved to Louisville, Kentucky to become certified in gastroenterology. While in Louisville, Dr. Sagatelian was Chief of Gastroenterology at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital and also served as assistant professor of medicine in the GI department.
He also met his wife – another physician — in Louisville. In 1995, they looked at Charleston and decided to move. Since then, Dr. Sagatelian has been a co-owner of Palmetto Digestive.
“What I like here,” Dr. Sagatelian says, “We deliver a personal approach. When you listen to the patient, you can learn what you need to do.”
Dr. Sagatelian keeps healthy on foot. He and his wife enjoy running and training for half-marathons, as well as attending sporting events with their two children. He also speaks Spanish as a second language.
1989 American Board of Internal Medicine, Diplomate in Internal Medicine
1993-2023 American Board of Internal Medicine, Diplomate in Gastroenterology
Dr. James Schnell, M.D.
Dr. James Schnell, M.D. specializes in Gastrointestinal endoscopy including BARRX, hepatology, and biliary disease.
Originally from Columbia, South Carolina, Dr. James Schnell earned his M.D. from the University of South Carolina Medical School. Upon graduation, he entered the Bowman-Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University and North Carolina Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem where he completed his residency in Internal Medicine. In 1995, he moved to Nashville to earn his fellowship in gastroenterology at Vanderbilt University.
Ready to move back to South Carolina, Dr. Schnell joined the practice of Palmetto Digestive in 1997. He enjoys working with his patients, counseling them on how to maintain a healthier lifestyle.
“I’ve learned from my patients that every patient is an individual with their own needs and I tailor the care for that patient,” Dr. Schnell says.
Dr. Schnell has no trouble maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As an avid jogger and golfer, he gets plenty of exercise. He also enjoys spending time boating and surfing with his children.
1997 Board of Internal Medicine, Diplomate in Gastroenterology
Dr. John Litchfield, DO
Dr. John Litchfield specializes in general gastroenterology including colorectal cancer prevention, inflammatory bowel disease, diseases of the upper GI tract including esophagus and stomach, and chronic liver disease.
Dr. John Litchfield grew up in Tennessee and became interested in medicine while in high school. He has three brothers who are also physicians. Dr. Litchfield earned his Bachelor’s degree in philosophy and pre-medical studies from Franciscan University. He earned his medical degree from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in 2009. He completed his internal medicine residency at East Tennessee State University and served as Chief Resident of Internal Medicine in 2012. He then completed his Gastroenterology fellowship at East Tennessee State University in 2015.
During his GI fellowship, he was heavily involved in teaching medical students and internal medicine residents. He was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society in recognition of his academic excellence and dedication to teaching.
Dr. Litchfield joined Palmetto Digestive in March 2016. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine for Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine. He is a member of the American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Association, and the South Carolina Gastroenterology Association.
John, his wife Kristen, and their five-year-old son Athan enjoy outdoor activities, including surfing, playing soccer, biking, fishing, and hiking.
Dr. Alejandro Suarez, M.D.
Dr. Alejandro Suarez specializes in general Gastroenterology, colorectal cancer prevention with special interests in GI oncology, pancreaticobiliary disorders and interventional endoscopy.
As a Florida native, he graduated from Barry University with his undergraduate degree in Chemistry with a specialization in Biochemistry and received his M.D. from Saint George’s University School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Florida and his general Gastroenterology fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina. Upon completing his advanced endoscopy fellowship at Yale University, he joined the Yale faculty maintaining an appointment as Assistant Professor Adjunct.
Dr. Suarez’s passion for academics continues by teaching medical students, residents, and fellows as he periodically serves as an attending on the inpatient Gastroenterology service at Yale. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in the medical literature with an interest in therapeutic endoscopy, including the American Journal of Gastroenterology, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, Surgical Endoscopy, and Gastroenterology.
He met his wife, Christine Seminara-Suarez M.D., during medical school. She is a Pediatrician at Lowcountry Pediatrics. They both enjoy fitness, dining, and are avid sports fans. He and his wife look forward to raising their family in Charleston. Dr. Suarez is also fluent in Spanish.
Dr. Derek Feussner, M.D.
Dr. Derek Feussner specializes in inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, esophageal and stomach disorders, and colorectal cancer.
Dr. Derek Feussner joined Palmetto Digestive in July 2018, and practices at the West Ashley, Mt Pleasant, and Summerville locations. He graduated from Porter-Gaud High School and is excited to now be working in his hometown.
Dr. Feussner obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from Vanderbilt University, majoring in Medical Anthropology with a minor in Biology. He earned his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) College of Medicine. Dr. Feussner completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and is board-certified in Internal Medicine. He then moved back to Charleston to complete his fellowship in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at MUSC.
Dr. Feussner’s clinical interests include inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, esophageal and stomach disorders, and colorectal cancer. He is a member of the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Gastroenterological Association, and the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.
Dr. Feussner, his wife Ansley, and their two children enjoy spending free time with their families, who also live in Charleston. When not working, Dr. Feussner can be found playing basketball, golfing, or spending time on the water.
Dr. Lori A. Robbins, M.D.
Dr. Lori A. Robbins specializes in General Gastroenterology, inflammatory bowel diseases and irritable bowel syndrome, colorectal cancer prevention and diseases of the upper GI tract including stomach and esophagus.
Dr. Robbins continued at Cedars Sinai, ranked the #2 hospital in the country for gastroenterology (US News and World Report, 2019), to complete her fellowship training in gastroenterology. While there, she had the opportunity to train directly under world-renowned experts in inflammatory bowel diseases and irritable bowel syndrome.
Dr. Robbins has published numerous articles in top medical journals and has presented her research at national meetings, receiving multiple awards for her work. She is the author of the gastroenterology chapter of the Handbook of Wellness Medicine, which will be available in 2020.
She looks forward to raising her family with her husband Ryan in Charleston. They both enjoy traveling, hiking, wine tasting, watching baseball, and spending time at the beach with their son and two dogs.
Patient-Centered Specialty Practice (PCSP)
The physicians at Palmetto Digestive have provided outstanding patient care for over 27 years. We are proud to announce that we have recently earned recognition as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Specialty Practice.
What is a Patient-Centered Specialty Practice?
A PCSP puts you ‒ the patient ‒ at the center of your health care, managing and personalizing treatment specifically for your needs and goals. To accomplish this, we coordinate and share information among primary care clinicians and specialists ‒ all to improve your quality of care.
As a PCSP, what are our responsibilities to you, the patient?
- To listen to your questions and concerns and to explain disease, treatment, and results in an easy-to-understand way.
- To coordinate your overall care across the complex healthcare system, sending you to trusted specialists if necessary and following up on the healthcare services you receive.
- To provide you with same-day appointments whenever possible.
- To provide instructions on how to access the care you need when the office is not open and to be available to you after-hours.
- To provide clear instructions about your treatment goals and future plans for every visit.
- To provide access to our practice before, during, and after business hours by giving you access to a Patient Portal that provides you access to your medical records and a message center for non-emergent questions.
We trust you, our patient, to:
- Provide your complete health history and other important information, including any changes in your health.
- Take part in planning your care.
- Have a clear understanding of your treatment goals and future health goals. Tell us what medications you are taking, and be responsible for obtaining refills.
- Inform us whenever you utilize any other health system, such as the emergency room.
- Ask other health providers to send us a report about your care when you see them.
- Utilize our patient satisfaction surveys and provide feedback so we can improve our services.
- Sign up for our Patient Portal, a convenient way to access and update your health records online.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, get in touch with one of our offices today!
Mon-Thurs: 8 AM ‒ 5 PM
Friday: 8 AM ‒ 4 PM
Sat - Sun: Closed
Mon-Thurs: 8 AM ‒ 5 PM
Friday: 8 AM ‒ 4 PM
Sat - Sun: Closed
Mon-Tues: 8 AM ‒ 5 PM
Wed: 8:30 AM ‒ 5 PM
Friday: 8 AM ‒ 4 PM
Sat - Sun: Closed