In the Endoscopy Unit, board-certified gastroenterologists are assisted by specially trained Registered Nurses and endoscopy technicians, as well as dedicated anesthesiologists. An anesthesiologist spends time with each patient before a procedure is performed, monitors them during the procedure and during recovery.
Procedures used to detect, diagnose and treat conditions of the digestive tract include:
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a procedure used to assess digestive diseases and detect cancer. The endoscope allows visualization, and ultrasound (high frequency sound waves) produces detailed images of the linings of the upper and lower digestive tract (esophagus, rectum and stomach) as well as nearby organs, such as the pancreas, liver and gallbladder. Extremely small lesions can be detected, allowing diagnosis and treatment at an early stage when the prognosis is better. During EUS, tissue samples can be obtained with a thin needle in a process called fine needle aspiration. The tissue is then examined by a pathologist. EUS is also considered the “gold standard,” for the staging of esophageal or rectal cancer prior to surgery or chemotherapy.
EUS is also used to evaluate the gallbladder and bile duct. Its superior resolution results in an ability to detect stones in the bile duct in 95% of patients. Abdominal sonography, on the other hand, which is traditionally used for this purpose, detects stones in the bile duct only 50-60% of the time. Undetected stones in the bile duct can cause persistent abdominal pain and/or fever.
ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography) uses X-ray fluoroscopy, to reveal the sphincter and ERCP with sphincter of Oddi manometry to analyze the muscle.
Radio Frequency Ablation or RFA (BARRX) is used to burn away layers of abnormal cells to eliminate Barrett’s Esophagus.
Balloon Enteroscopy reveals the small intestine, which is beyond the reach of standard upper endoscopes or colonoscopies.