A close-up look
When a doctor needs a close-up look at your digestive tract, the most efficient way to do that is with endoscopy.
Endoscopy refers to the way your doctor looks inside your body using an endoscope. An endoscope is a flexible tube with a tiny camera at the end of it. A gastrointestinal endoscope may be inserted through the mouth, nose, or anus depending on the part of your digestive system your doctor needs to view.
Prior to most endoscopic procedures, you are given a sedative to help you relax or even sleep. You should experience little to no pain during the procedure.
A colonoscopy is a visual exam of your rectum and colon (large intestine). Like other endoscopic procedures, this exam is performed with a small, flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end. This instrument allows the doctor to view the inside of your rectum and colon. A colonoscopy helps detect ulcers, polyps, tumors, and areas of inflammation or bleeding and is used as a screening tool for colon cancer.
Upper GI Endoscopy (EGD)
An EGD, or upper GI endoscopy, uses an endoscope with a tiny camera attached to a long flexible tube, inserted through your mouth, to take pictures of your esophagus, stomach, and the beginning of the first part of the small intestine.
Capsule endoscopy is used to examine the small intestine in areas that an EGD or a colonoscopy cannot view. You swallow a tiny capsule in your doctor’s office. As the capsule travels through your digestive tract, the camera transmits thousands of pictures to a recorder you wear on a belt around your waist or over your shoulder.
If you have a permanent pacemaker or defibrillator, you may be admitted to the hospital for electrocardiographic monitoring during the procedure. A capsule endoscopy lasts 8 hours.
Ambulatory 24-Hour Esophageal Study
This test measures the number of reflux episodes you experience, as well as the amount of time stomach acid is present in your esophagus over the course of a 24-hour period. This test can be used to diagnose acid reflux and to determine how effective acid reflux medications are in treating your condition.
With this minimally invasive outpatient procedure, a pH catheter 1/8 inch in diameter is guided to your esophagus via your nostril and placed two inches above your diaphragm. You do not need sedation. A topical anesthetic lubricant is used to gently place the catheter. Once placed, the catheter is attached to a recorder worn on a belt. While the catheter may cause some discomfort or annoyance, many individuals indicate that it does not interfere with normal activities.
After 24 hours, you return to your doctor’s office for removal of the catheter, which takes approximately five minutes.
A 24-hour esophageal study is helpful when endoscopy findings are normal but symptoms are still present.
This minimally invasive diagnostic procedure is used in evaluating GERD and swallowing disorders. It measures muscle strength in your esophagus.
A small tube is guided into the nostril, then passed into the throat, and finally into the esophagus. The pressure the esophageal muscles produce at rest is then measured. Esophageal manometry takes about one hour to complete. You can usually return to your regular activities immediately after the exam.
Endoscopic Ultrasound and Fine Needle Biopsy
Endoscopic ultrasound utilizes a gastrointestinal endoscope with an ultrasound probe attached. The probe bounces high-energy sound waves off your internal organs to create a picture (sonogram). If a concern is located, the doctor may insert a needle to obtain a tissue sample, using the sonogram as a guide.
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
ERCP is used to diagnose and treat pancreas, bile duct, gall bladder, and liver disorders. An endoscope is inserted through your mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach in to the bile duct or pancreatic duct. Your doctor can view the inside of these organs and detect possible abnormalities. Then another scope is inserted within the endoscope, and contrast dye is injected. This allows internal organs to be visible via X-ray.
Endoscopic Gastrostomy Tube Placement
Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) is an outpatient surgical procedure used to place a tube for feeding for patients unable to ingest food by mouth for a prolonged period. An endoscope is used to assist in placing and securing the tube. The tube is used to get fluids and nutrition directly into the stomach.
Balloon enteroscopy is used to examine the deepest portion of the GI tract, the middle of the small intestine. Enteroscopy is helpful to search for bleeding, tumors, ulcers and other conditions which may not otherwise be fully explained by techniques such as EGD or colonoscopy.
Spyglass Direct Visualization System
The Spyglass Direct Visualization System is an endoscopic technology that allows for the direct visual assessment of bile duct and the pancreatic duct. This technology can reduce the risk of allergic reactions to dyes (otherwise required for radiographs) and allows for a more efficient and accurate assessment of your condition. The Spyglass system enables us to treat a wider range of liver and pancreas diseases using endoscopy, rather than more invasive surgery.