A colonoscopy is a procedure performed to examine the inside of the rectum and colon for any abnormalities like polyps or tumors. This minimally invasive procedure uses a small camera attached to a flexible tube, called a colonoscope, allowing your doctor to view the interior lining of the large intestine and the lowest part of the small intestine. Colonoscopies are recommended every 10 years for patients over 50 years of age or if you are experiencing persistent abdominal pain, chronic constipation or diarrhea, or rectal bleeding. They are also used to screen for colon cancer. A colonoscopy will help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis of the intestinal problem and create a personalized treatment plan for your specific case.
The liver is the body’s largest organ and is found behind the ribs in the right upper abdomen. The liver works to make proteins, eliminate waste, and helps balance the metabolism and nutrition of the body. There are a number of conditions and diseases that can cause severe and even permanent damage to the liver if not caught and treated early. Some of these include infection, reactions to alcohol and drugs, hereditary conditions, tumors, and immune deficiency problems.
Assessing a Liver Condition
Following a complete medical history and physical exam, we will perform blood studies, also known as liver function tests (LFT), to learn about the overall health of the liver. Additional tests will performed if the LFT produces abnormal results. In addition to these tests, a liver biopsy will be performed so your physician can determine an exact diagnosis and create a personalized treatment plan that will produce optimum results.
What is a liver biopsy?
A liver biopsy is a procedure in which a small needle is inserted into the liver to collect a tissue sample. The sample is then examined under a microscope in a laboratory. This will provide your physician with vital information for determining the best course of treatment for your diagnosis.
An EGD is a procedure where a long, flexible tube, called an endoscope, is used to examine the interior lining of the esophagus, stomach and the first portion of the small intestines (called the duodenum). This thin tube is passed through the mouth and back of the throat; it is smaller than most food eaten.
EGD’s are used to confirm abnormalities found by X-rays or to detect abnormalities that are too small to be found by an X-ray. If a suspicious area is found, your physician can pass an instrument through the endoscope to take a biopsy.
Why is an EGD necessary?
An EGD is helpful in detecting and diagnosing conditions of the digestive tract that are often undetectable by an X-ray. EGD’s are more accurate than an X-ray in detecting certain conditions such as ulcers in the stomach and upper small intestines, as well as early cancers.
EGD’s can also be used for certain treatments, such as the stretching of the esophagus to remove polyps or swallowed objects.
This safe and effective procedure is very helpful in the diagnosis and management of various conditions and disorders of the upper digestive tract. Your physician will thoroughly discuss the details of the treatment with you and answer any questions that you might have.
Capsule endoscopy is a procedure that uses a tiny wireless camera to take pictures of your digestive tract. The camera is inside a vitamin-size capsule you swallow. As the capsule travels through your digestive tract, the camera takes thousands of pictures that are transmitted to a recorder you wear on a belt around your waist.
Capsule endoscopy helps doctors see inside your small intestine — an area that isn't easily reached with more-traditional endoscopy procedures. Traditional endoscopy involves passing a long, flexible tube equipped with a video camera down your throat or through your rectum.
Capsule endoscopy has also been approved for screening the colon for polyps in those unable to complete a colonoscopy.
ERCP is a highly sophisticated technique requiring special endoscopic training and can be accomplished successfully in a high percentage of patients. A long, flexible tube, slightly thinner than a pen, is passed through the mouth and back of the throat into the duodenum (the first portion of the small intestine). The opening from the bile duct and pancreatic duct into the duodenum is identified. A small plastic tube called a cannula is then passed through the endoscope into this opening and directed into the bile duct and/or pancreatic duct. Contrast dye is injected, and then X-rays are taken to study the ducts.