A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure doctors perform to assess the health of your colon and check for ulcers, polyps, tumors, inflammation, or…
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a life-saving procedure for the prevention and detection of colon cancer. It also helps treat patients with diarrhea, blood in their stool, as well as various conditions of the large intestine.
How do I prepare for a colonoscopy?
Most likely, a physician will prescribe a cleanse in order to prep for your exam. You will be prescribed some sort of cleanse regardless of your diet, stool habits or frequency. They may ask you to refrain from eating or drinking anything other than water and light broths. This prep is essential for finding colonoscopy polyps.
What happens during a colonoscopy?
A tube-like instrument with a camera and a light at the end of it, called an endoscope, is inserted into the rectum. The endoscope then glides through the large intestine, allowing the physician to detect colonoscopy polyps.
Who needs a colonoscopy?
An individual should start screening for colon cancer at age 50. However, certain individuals who have a family history of colon polyps or other GI conditions may require screening at an earlier age. Discuss your need to have a colonoscopy and when with your doctor.
Individuals that are not at risk for colon cancer can also benefit from a colonoscopy. It is the best way to inspect the large intestine. That is why a colonoscopy can help people with various ailments or symptoms.
Keep in mind, a colonoscopy is a routine test that can be performed safely and comfortably, even at an outpatient center.
An upper endoscopy is a procedure doctors perform to look at the lining of the upper digestive tract which includes…
What is an Upper Endoscopy?
During an upper endoscopy your doctor will use a small, bendable lighted tube, that he/she inserts through the mouth, in order to closely examine the lining of your esophagus, stomach, and the top portion of your intestines, known as the duodendum.
Who Needs an EGD?
First of all, a doctor will recommend an EGD procedure for patients experiencing symptoms such as persistent stomach or abdominal pain, vomiting, trouble swallowing, and heartburn. They will also recommend an EGD for those who have a family history of esophageal cancer. It can find and evaluate bleeding, inflammation, ulcers, and tumors of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. An EGD is useful for detecting cancer, allowing your gastroenterologist to distinguish between cancerous and non-cancerous conditions in the upper GI tract more accurately than an x-ray.
What is the Prep?
In order to prepare for an upper endoscopy, your doctor will give specific prep instructions. He/she will usually request that you refrain from eating or drinking anything for approximately 8 hours before the exam. Your stomach will need to be completely empty. Your gastroenterologist will give you very specific instructions regarding when to begin fasting based on when your procedure is scheduled.
A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that a doctor uses to the inner lining of your rectum and the lower portion of the colon…
What is a Sigmoidoscopy?
A flexible sig is a diagnostic procedure that a doctor uses to view the inner lining of your rectum and the lower portion of the colon.
Who Needs a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?
Individuals who may suffer from certain gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, or unusual changes in bowel habits. It’s use may also include being a screening method to determine the risk of colon or rectal cancer.
What is the Prep for a Sigmoidoscopy?
To prepare for a flex sig, your bowel must fully cleanse. Your doctor will provide specific instructions regarding your prep. Sometimes, preparation requires an enema to empty out your rectum and lower intestine for clear viewing of the intestinal walls.
What Happens During a Flex Sig?
During the procedure, you will lie on your left side. An endoscope inserts through the rectum. As the instrument guides through the colon, your doctor inspects the lining of the colon. As the endoscope expels, another thorough evaluation will happen. In total, this procedure is usually lasts 5 to 15 minutes.
What Happens If Something is Found?
If your doctor discovers an area that requires further examination, they can collect a small sample of tissue for biopsy. It’s then sent for evaluation. If your doctor finds a colon polyp, the doctor may remove it during the same procedure.
Esophageal banding is a life-saving procedure to stop bleeding from esophageal varices…
What is esophageal banding?
Esophageal banding is a life-saving procedure to stop bleeding from varices. These are veins in the esophagus that have enlarged due to blockage of blood flow to the liver and or spleen. Esophageal varices are fairly common with over 200,000 cases in the U.S.
What causes them?
They usually form because of scarring on the liver, which allows little blood to flow through it. As a result, there is increasing pressure in the vessels that carry blood to the liver. This leads to eventual “backing-up” of blood flow. When the blood “backs up” to the veins of the lower esophagus, it often forms esophageal varices. Esophageal varices are more likely to occur in individuals with advanced liver disease. Symptoms include blood in vomit or in stools. However symptoms usually do not show until veins bleed.
How are varices treated?
Varices must be tied off in order to prevent further bleeding. This is achieved through esophageal banding. Little rubber bands are put on the varices using an upper endoscope in order to cut off blood flow.
Depending on your condition, additional sessions may be necessary to keep varices under control and prevent bleeding.
Barrett’s esophagus is a condition when the normal cells in the lower esophagus transform into cells of the intestinal lining. This usually results…
What is Barrett’s esophagus?
Barrett’s esophagus occurs when the normal cells in the lower esophagus, or food pipe, transform into cells of the intestinal lining.
Normal esophagus lining is made up of smooth, pale pink cells. When it is repeatedly exposed to stomach acid, the acid eats at the surface and damages it. As a result, it then transforms into a salmon-colored, bumpy, column-shaped cells that produce mucus.
What are the symptoms?
Since this condition is a serious complication of GERD, the indicators are very similar. Patients with Barrett’s syndrome may experience frequent heartburn, chest pains, indigestion, or regurgitation. Other common symptoms include incessant coughing, hoarseness, or an sore or itchy throat. However some may not experience any symptoms.
Unfortunately, people will ignore symptoms and take antacids or continue to use other methods to ease heartburn. Ignoring the symptoms will only make it worse. Repeated exposure to stomach acid wears down the esophagus over time.
How serious is Barrett’s Syndrome?
While Barrett’s esophagus is not a malignant condition, it is serious. If left untreated and ignored, the condition may become cancerous. Patients with Barrett’s esophagus have an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer.
How is Barrett’s esophagus treated?
While there are many ways to treat Barrett’s esophagus, there are two main methods. These methods include endoscopic mucosal resection, commonly referred to as EMR, and radiofrequency ablation, known as RFA.
Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR)
Endoscopic mucosal resection, or EMR, is a treatment solution for Barrett’s esophagus. EMR uses an upper endoscope and other special tools to cut out and remove the abnormal looking portion of the esophagus. It is important to remove the abnormal tissue because it could potentially develop into esophageal cancer.
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
Radio-frequency ablation, or RFA for short, is another treatment option for Barrett’s esophagus. RFA uses heat produced from high-energy radio-frequency waves. These waves are then transmitted into the lining of the esophagus to eliminate the abnormal cells.
It then uses a special tool, known as a catheter, in order to destroy both pre-cancerous cells, as well as cancerous cells. The doctor inserts the catheter into the esophagus by using an upper endoscope.
The procedure may sound like it is uncomfortable, but it is actually minimally invasive. If you require a RFA, your physician will make you as comfortable as possible during the procedure.
Barrett’s esophagus requires professional diagnosis and treatment. Lucky for you, it is one of the many conditions that SAGA identifies and cares for. Get in touch with one of our expert physicians today.
Esophageal manometry is a procedure to measure the movement or function of the esophagus. Doctors perform this test mostly in patients with swallowing…
Esophageal manometry is a procedure to measure the movement or function of the esophagus. Doctors perform this test mostly in patients with swallowing problems. The test examines the lower esophageal sphincter, and the esophagus muscles via esophageal manometry. This determines the esophageal sphincter’s ability to restrict backflow of gastric acid into the esophagus, as well as if the esophagus is capable of pushing food down to the stomach properly.
Who Needs an Esophageal Manometry?
Individuals who have trouble swallowing or consistently experience heartburn or nausea after eating may need an esophageal manometry to determine the cause of these symptoms. It allows your gastroenterologist to determine if the esophagus is contracting and relaxing properly.
ERCP, examines the bile ducts, gallbladder, and pancreatic ducts. Bile is an alkaline fluid that aids…
What is an ERCP?
It is a procedure that examines the bile ducts, gallbladder, and pancreatic ducts. ERCP combines endoscopy and x-rays in order to determine the cause of pancreatic pain.
What is bile?
Bile is an alkaline fluid that helps the body digest food. The purpose of bile ducts is to funnel bile from the liver to the gallbladder as well as the small intestine. This procedure examines the bile ducts for stones, tumors, or narrowed regions using an endoscope.
What happens during the procedure?
Patients are sedated during the procedure, while a doctor inserts an endoscope into the mouth, and through the esophagus, until it reaches the uppermost part of the small intestine.
He/She will then insert a catheter through the endoscope, and guide it into the papilla, a small duct located in between the liver and pancreas. The catheter releases a contrast solution for x-rays that help the doctor determine how bile ducts are functioning.
Who needs it?
Patients with jaundice, the yellowing of the skin or whites of eyes, stomach or abdominal pain caused by pancreatic problems or bile duct issues.
Other reasons a gastroenterologist may conduct this procedure include:
- Acute or chronic pancreatitis
- Pancreatic pseudocysts
- Severe pain or surgical complications due to bile or pancreatic ducts
- Tumors or cancers within the bile ducts or pancreas
ERCP is beneficial in determining pancreatic disease or the best solution for treatment.
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) uses sound waves to produce high quality images of the lining of the upper digestive tract…
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) uses sound waves to produce high quality images of the lining of the upper digestive tract (esophagus, stomach, and 1st part of the small intestine); as well other organs that are near it such as the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and surrounding lymph nodes.
Sometimes doctors combine with a procedure called fine needle aspiration (FNA) where a needle advances from the probe to the target organs and a small sample aspirated through the needle. The sample can then be sent to the lab to be analyzed.
EUS can also be used to provide a minimally invasive way of draining pseudocysts from the pancreas. Which are fluid-filled sacs that appear like a true cyst. However, the sac is not composed of a specific lining of cells that are common to a true cyst.
Hemorrhoid banding is a simple, safe procedure doctors conduct strictly for internal hemorrhoids via rubber band ligation. The hemorrhoid is tied at the base with rubber…
What is Hemorrhoid Banding?
Hemorrhoid banding is a simple, safe procedure that doctors perform strictly for internal hemorrhoids. They achieve this through rubber band ligation.
How does rubber band litigation work?
In order to detach the hemorrhoid, first it is tied at the base with rubber bands to cut off blood flow. The hemorrhoid will then shrink and eventually fall off. About a week or so later, it will detach, resulting in a scar where it once was. The procedure is confined to 1 or 2 hemorrhoids per visit. A doctor may treat hemorrhoids at once with general anesthesia, or over 4 to 6 week periods.
Who Needs This Procedure?
Individuals suffering from internal hemorrhoids that are causing discomforts such as rectal bleeding and itching. They can benefit from endoscopic hemorrhoid band ligation, or hem banding.
What to expect?
There is no need to fast or take other measures beforehand. Hemorrhoid banding is a quick, painless procedure. The physician will begin with an exam to confirm your diagnosis. If they decide this is the best option for you, it may begin immediately following the exam or they will schedule you for another time. During the brief procedure your doctor will use a gentle suction device to place the band around the base of the hemorrhoid to avoid sensitive nerve endings. After the procedure, once the band is in place, the band will cut off blood supply and the hemorrhoid will naturally fall off on its own. You may not even notice when this happens!
pH Probe Studies
Doctors use pH probe studies to diagnose, and treat chronic acid reflux by implanting a thin tube into the esophagus. Over 24 hours, the frequency…
What are pH Probe Studies?
pH probe studies are tests doctors use to help substantiate the diagnosis of GERD and to distinguish the cause of various symptoms, including:
- Heartburn , mainly in patients who have had a routine endoscopy, yet failed medical treatment, or in cases which the patient may be considered as a candidate for surgery
- Uncommon symptoms of GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease), such as chest pain, persistent dry cough or chronic cough, asthma and other throat symptoms
pH probe studies may also be done to assess the effectiveness of current treatments for heartburn or reflux. Doctors advise the procedure for those whose symptoms are not improving with medications.
How do they work?
Gastroenterologists use pH probe studies to diagnose, and treat chronic acid reflux by implanting a thin tube into the esophagus. Over 24 hours, the frequency or acid reflux into the esophagus can be evaluated objectively. Typically, doctors use this test to help substantiate the diagnosis of GERD and to distinguish the cause of various symptoms, such as heartburn or chronic cough.
How to Prepare:
Do not eat or drink 6 hours before the test. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, have a lung or heart condition or any other diseases, or are allergic to any medications.
Can I Continue to Take Medication Before the Test?
There are several medications that may affect results. Make sure to talk to your doctor about all medications you are taking before participating in the test.
Do not stop taking any medication without first consulting with your primary or referring doctor.
Capsule endoscopy allows a gastroenterologist to evaluate the small intestine in detail…
Capsule endoscopy allows a gastroenterologist evaluate the small intestine in detail. They achieve this by photographing the digestive tract with a wireless camera inside an easy to swallow, pill-sized capsule. As the camera moves through the small intestine, it captures thousands of images, and transfers them to a device fastened to the waist. Doctors are then able to assess the images for irregularities in the digestive tract.
Who Needs a Capsule Endoscopy?
Traditional upper endoscopy and colonoscopy may not be able to reach a large portion of the small intestine. The most common reason for doing capsule endoscopy is to search for a cause of bleeding occurring in the small intestine. It may also be appropriate for detecting polyps, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcers, and tumors of the small intestine.
A doctor may choose this procedure to detect polyps, Crohn’s disease, ulcers, and other abnormalities.
What is the prep for a Capsule Colonoscopy?
For the most accurate, secure inspection, doctors usually request patients to refrain from eating or drinking anything twelve hours prior to the exam. Your doctor will inform you of when to begin fasting. Before your capsule colonoscopy, you may require a bowel prep, or cleansing.
Tell your doctor about any prescriptions, OTC medications, or supplements you currently take. Alert your gastroenterologist of any medication allergies, health conditions, or prior history of gastrointestinal obstructions or disorders. Additionally, if you have a pacemaker or defibrillator let your gastroenterologist know.