We also offer and provide diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures to compliment our consultative services. These include:
- Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
- Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
- Bravo 48-Hour pH Probe
- PillCam (Capsule Endoscopy)
Upper GI endoscopy helps in diagnosing and treating esophagitis, heartburn, ulcers, and bleeding. Upper GI endoscopy, sometimes called EGD, is the visual examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract using a lighted flexible endoscope. It is performed in the outpatient setting and utilizes intravenous sedation to relax the patient. The endoscope is inserted through the mouth into the esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, and the upper part of the small intestine. The exam takes about 5-10 minutes. There is no pain and patients seldom remember the procedure. Sometimes, mild throat irritation occurs after the exam. The physician may take a biopsy during this exam. If there is narrowing of the esophagus, a dilation (stretching) may be done. Back to top.
Colonoscopy is the examination of the entire colon (large intestine). It is performed by inserting a flexible lighted tube into the rectum. The procedure is used to look for early signs of Colon Cancer (polyps). It is usually done as an outpatient procedure. It requires intravenous sedation and adequate preparation to clean the colon. It is important to remember that the directions for the preparation must be followed to allow for the best exam possible. Experts agree that Colonoscopy is the best test for diagnosing Colon Cancer and finding colon polyps. The examination will take about 20 minutes to perform. Back to top.
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
ERCP enables the physician to diagnose problems that involve the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas. This is a procedure where a flexible lighted tube is passed through the mouth into the stomach and upper intestine to visualize the opening to ducts from the liver and pancreas. Once identified, a narrow plastic tube (cannula) is passed through the scope into the duct where a dye is injected and x-ray pictures are taken. If the exam shows a gallstone or narrowing of the ducts, specialized equipment can be used to remove the stones or relieve the obstruction. Possible complications include pancreas inflammation, infection, bleeding, and perforation of the duodenum. This examination is done in the hospital and takes 30-60 minutes. Back to top.
Bravo 48-Hour pH Probe
The 48 hour pH probe is a test done to evaluate the extent of acid reflux, or back flow of acid, from the stomach into the esophagus. Your physician may ask you to stop your acid blocking medications several days prior to the procedure. The test involves placing a small capsule at the end of the esophagus using a flexible endoscope. The capsule (Bravo Probe) is able to record the amount of acid that backs up into the esophagus. The information is transmitted to a small monitor that you wear on your belt. During the test, you will record symptoms you have, as well as routine activities such as eating and sleeping. The Bravo Probe will fall off of the esophagus after about 2 days and pass harmlessly through your GI tract. Since you will be sedated for the placement of the probe, you will need someone to drive you to and from the endoscopy center. Back to top.
PillCam (Capsule Endoscopy)
Capsule Endoscopy uses a pill sized video camera, called the PillCam, to view images of the small intestine. The small intestine cannot be viewed with traditional upper endoscopy or colonoscopy. The PillCam is able to image the small intestine by taking multiple pictures as it passes through the bowel. The most common reason for doing a PillCam study is to search for causes of bleeding from the small intestine. It can also be used to test for Crohn’s Disease and small bowel tumors. On the day prior to the procedure you will need to drink a laxative solution to cleanse your small intestine. The PillCam is then swallowed and passes through your digestive tract while transmitting video images to a recorder worn on your belt. The test takes approximately 8 hours to complete. The PillCam test is a very safe procedure; however, the capsule can get stuck in the intestine in about 1% of patients. This complication might require hospitalization and surgery for capsule removal. This test does not take the place of Colonoscopy, which evaluates the large intestine (The PillCam evaluates the small intestine). Back to top.