A colonoscopy (koh-luh-NAH-skuh-pee) allows a doctor to look inside the entire large intestine. The procedure enables
the physician to see things such as inflamed tissue, abnormal growths, and ulcers. It is most often used to look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. It is also used to look for causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits and to evaluate symptoms like abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, and weight loss.
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Upper endoscopy, also called EGD which stands for esophagogastroduodenoscopy, enables the physician to look inside the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). The procedure might be used to discover the reason for swallowing difficulties, nausea, vomiting, reflux, bleeding, indigestion, abdominal pain or chest pain.
Esophageal dilation is a procedure that allows your doctor to dilate, or stretch, a narrowed area of your esophagus. This procedure is often done as part of a sedated upper endoscopy.
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (en-doh-SKAH-pik REH-troh-grayd koh-LAN-jee-oh-PANG-kree-uh-TAH-gruh-fee) (ERCP) enables the physician to diagnose problems in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas.
ERCP is used primarily to diagnose and treat conditions of the bile ducts, including gallstones, inflammatory strictures (scars), leaks (from trauma and surgery), and cancer.
ERCP combines the use of x-rays and an endoscope, which is a long, flexible, lighted tube. Through the endoscope, the physician can see the inside of the stomach and duodenum, and inject dyes into the ducts in the biliary tree and pancreas so they can be seen on x-rays.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy (SIG-moy-DAH-skuh-pee) enables the physician to look at the inside of the large intestine from the rectum through the last part of the colon, called the sigmoid or descending colon.
A new instrument used to determine the causes of small bowel bleeding. The device, the endoscopic capsule, is 1 inch long and 3/8 in width, the size of a large pill, and holds a battery with a 6 hour lifespan, a strong light source, a camera and a small transmitter. Once swallowed, the capsule begins transmitting images of the inside of the esophagus, stomach and small bowel to a receiver worn by the patient.
A percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) is an endoscopic procedure for placing a tube into the stomach. It involves placing a tube into the stomach through the abdominal wall. It is an alternative to surgical gastrostomy. PEG tubes may also be extended into the small bowel. The procedure does not require a general anesthetic, although mild sedation is typically used.
Removal of abdominal fluid is of value in evaluating patients with ascites of new onset or unknown etiology, and provides symptomatic relief in patients with known disease or in the setting of a decompensating clinical state. Abdominal paracentesis is a simple procedure that may be performed rapidly and with a minimum of equipment.