Digestive (Gastroenterology/GI)

Common Procedures

Colonoscopy  
Colonoscopy is a procedure used to look at the inner lining of the colon and rectum. This procedure uses a colonoscope, a flexible tube-like device outfitted with a miniaturized camera, to take pictures or video of the colon. A colonoscopy can detect inflamed tissue, ulcers, and abnormal growths and is used as a screening test to look for early signs of colorectal cancer.

The colonoscope also allows a physician to obtain small tissue samples for biopsy, apply medications or heat treatment directly to the lining of the colon, or remove polyps. Polyps are abnormal growths in the lining of the colon, which can become cancerous. Removing polyps is an important way to prevent colon cancer.  

Learn more about Colorectal Cancer Services >>

Upper GI Endoscopy
An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is a procedure used to examine the interior lining of the esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). This is done through a thin, flexible viewing instrument called an endoscope. The tip of the endoscope is inserted through the mouth and then gently moved down the throat into the upper GI tract.

An upper GI endoscope can detect  ulcers, inflammation, tumors, infection, or bleeding. Tissue samples can be collected (biopsy), polyps can be removed, and bleeding can be treated through the endoscope. Upper endoscopy helps a doctor evaluate symptoms of persistent upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or difficulty swallowing.  Endoscopy can often reveal problems that do not show up on X-rays, and can sometimes eliminate the need for exploratory surgery.

Preparation for Procedures
Patients who are scheduled for an upper endoscopy or colonoscopy are required to follow certain medical and dietary guidelines several days prior to the procedure. To view the guidelines, click here for Patient Education on Preparing for Your Colonoscopy or Upper Endoscopy Procedure.

Patients typically stay at the Endoscopy Center two to three hours, from admission through discharge. The procedures take less than 40 minutes. Medication is given by an anesthesiologist. Patients sleep through the procedure and feel no discomfort or pain.

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