Description of Procedures
Colonoscopy is a diagnostic and therapeutic examination that uses a thin flexible tube with a light and camera at the end to examine the entire large intestine (bowel), including the anus, rectum, sigmoid, descending, transverse, ascending colon, cecum and sometimes terminal ileum (last part of small intestine). Colonoscopy is commonly used to diagnose polyps, inflammatory bowel syndrome (including Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis), colon cancer, and diverticular disease. Baseline screening colonoscopy is recommended for everyone at age 50, unless other circumstances warrant earlier surveillance, such as family history of colon cancer, personal history of certain cancers or inflammatory disorders (colitis, diverticulitis), or change in bowel habits or bleeding. For the colonoscopy, you will be asked to lie on your left side with your legs bent up towards your chest. You will then be sedated by an anesthesiologist who will monitor your vital signs [blood pressure, heart function, (breathing) respiratory] and level of comfort throughout your procedure. During colonoscopy, your doctor can obtain biopsies to help confirm a diagnosis or perform a therapeutic maneuver to remove polyps. Neither of these procedures will be uncomfortable. During colonoscopy, air is used to "inflate" your bowel to enable your doctor to fully examine the lining of your large intestine/bowel. For this reason, you may experience some gas or cramping after the procedure and will be encouraged to expel the gas in the recovery area. The colonoscopy usually lasts 20-40 minutes followed by a 30 minute recovery period.
Upper Endoscopy / Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
Upper endoscopy is also known as EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy). This procedure uses a thin flexible tube with a light and camera at the end to examine the upper gastrointestinal tract, extending from the oropharynx (mouth) to the stomach and into the duodenum (first part of small intestine). Commonly found abnormalities include esophagitis, GERD, Barrett's esophagus, esophageal varices, hiatal hernia, Schatzki's ring, esophageal strictures, gastritis, gastric/peptic ulcers, duodenitis, duodenal ulcers, and Celiac sprue. For the upper endoscopy, you will be asked to lie on your left side; a bite block will be placed in your mouth to protect your teeth and the endoscope from potential damage to each other. You will then be sedated by an anesthesiologist who will also monitor your vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate/rhythm, and oxygen level/breathing status) and level of comfort throughout the procedure. Once sedated, the endoscope will be passed through your mouth, esophagus, stomach, and into your duodenum. Air will be introduced through the endoscope to inflate your upper GI tract to enable your doctor to fully inspect the lining. For that reason, you may experience belching after the procedure. If necessary, biopsies may be obtained during the procedure to help confirm your diagnosis. Based on the findings, certain therapeutic maneuvers may also be performed, such as dilation therapy for strictures (narrowing) or ablation therapy to seal bleeding vessels. You will not experience pain if a biopsy is obtained. The procedure usually lasts approximately 5 to 15 minutes followed by a 30 minute recovery period.
Biopsy Analysis and Interpretation
A biopsy is the microscopic examination of a tissue sample to determine the presence or cause of a disease. Biopsy analysis requires the skill of a highly trained doctor called a Pathologist. A Pathologist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis of disease based on the analysis (inspection) of these small tissue samples called a biopsy.
If a biopsy is obtained, the tissue is processed and an extremely thin slice of tissue is removed and attached to a glass slide. The remaining tissue is stored for further studies, if required. Because they are very small (microscopic), the slide is stained with special dyes that allow the Pathologist to see them more clearly. This process is very technical and is performed in a specialized laboratory. Based on the findings, the Pathologist prepares a written report that will list any abnormalities or important findings. These results are sent to the doctor who performed your examination and a plan for your treatment will be discussed with you.
The analysis and interpretation of a biopsy plays an important role in helping your medical team diagnose your condition or disease.
Esophageal Dilatation is perfumed when a patient has difficulty swallowing. A common complaint from the patient is that of food "sticking" upon swallowing and possibly not going down into the stomach very easily. This complaint needs the care of a Gastroenterologist who can help the patient so this problem does not become an emergency. There are several possible causes of this complaint and most frequently seen is a stricture of the Esophagus. This is a narrowing in the "swallowing tube." It is a separate place from where the patient takes air into his or her lungs. During upper endoscopy, the Gastroenterologist is able to look down into the swallowing tube by first sedating the patient, and then passing a soft flexible tube (endoscope), into the esophagus. By direct visualization, the doctor can usually tell if there is a narrowing that needs treatment. While the patient is still asleep, the narrowing can be stretched by passing a balloon or a dilator down to the narrowed location. This will stretch the narrowed part of the esophagus, allowing the patient to swallow normally again. In some cases this procedure may need to be repeated at some point in the future. This is generally a painless procedure and may give instant relief from the original complaints.
The colon, or large intestine, can also develop a stricture, or narrowing after surgery which may need to be stretched. This happens at the place where one side of the colon was connected to the other side during surgery. A patient who has this narrowing will complain of constipation, and need therapy from a Gastroenterologist, who will perform a therapeutic Colonoscopy. During Colonoscopy, the patient is sedated and a soft flexible tube is passed into the colon from the rectum. The doctor can then pass a Dilator Balloon (made for the treatment of this problem) through the Colonoscope to the stricture. While the patient is still sedated, the narrowing will be stretched, resulting in easier passage of stool along the colon, and the resolution of the constipation.
Hemorrhoids are part of the normal human anatomy of the anal canal. They become problematic when they become swollen or inflamed. In their normal state, they act as cushions that aid the passage of stool. The symptoms of problematic hemorrhoids depends on the type of hemorrhoid present. Internal hemorrhoids usually present with painless rectal bleeding while external hemorrhoids present with pain, pressure or itching. Hemorrhoid problems are very common in the United States. Treatment can vary from simple dietary changes to complex surgery. New alternatives for the treatment of hemorrhoids have been developed and are now available.
This web site is intended for general educational and informational purposes only.
Coastal Endoscopy Center provides the information on this site as a courtesy and assumes no responsibility in the use or interpretation of information. Please consult a medical professional for your specific health care and treatment.
If you would like to contact us, please call (609) 698-0700