Endoscopy has been a revolutionary advance in many medical specialities in recent decades and nowhere more so than in gastroenterology. The small scopes that permit this type of imaging allow specialists a window into areas of the body that were previously hidden. This is especially true for the digestive tract, into which endoscopists can introduce various types of endoscopes orally and rectally.
Lourdes gastroenterologists are highly trained and experienced in providing endoscopic services at both Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, in Camden, NJ, and Lourdes Medical Center Burlington County, Willingboro, NJ. This form of testing and care is central to the practice of gastroenterolgy today, and Lourdes staff takes great pride in the quality of endoscopic examinations and procedures that it performs.
In addition to gaining an exceptional view of digestive-tract structes, the specialists can also take biopsy samples during endoscopy. In addition, the technology permits certain diagnostic and treatment steps that can spare patients open surgery.
Among the primary types of procedures performed at Lourdes’ endoscopy facilities are:
- colonoscopy. Lourdes’s gastroenterologyists use a colonoscope to examine the large intestine (colon). This exam can identify cancer, inflammation, polyps, scarring and other conditions. Learn more.
- upper endoscopy. Lourdes’s GI specialists use a special endoscope called a gastroscope, introduced through mouth and down the throat, to examine the espophagus, and sometimes the stomach, small intestine, as well as the pancreatic or common bile duct. This exam can reveal inflammation, cancer, ulcers, blockages and other conditions.
- dilation. Gastroenterologists can identify strictures or blockages endoscopically in the esophagus , stomach, bile system or intestines and use a balloon catheter to dilate or expand narrowed areas.
- stenting. The GI endscopy specialist can place small tubes in a variety of locations in the GI tract to keep constricted areas open. This can help to address blockages due to abnormal growths, scar tissue or other causes.
- endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP). The digestive specialists uses ERCP to diagnose and treat problems in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts or pancreas endoscopically. With a special scope called a duodenoscope, advanced past the stomach and into the small intestine, the specialist can examine these organs and inject dye into the biliary ducts so that they can be clearly seen on x-rays. The physician can also take a biopsy with the scope. ERCP can help to diagnose stones, infections, cancer, blockages and other abnormalities. The gastroenterologist can also use this procedure to remove or destroy stones and to reopen bile drainage. For a narrowed bile duct, the specialist can stent the stricture by placing a wire mesh or plastic tube across the blockage to allow the duct to drain.
- percutaneous endoscopic gastroscopy (PEG). In this procedure, the GI physician uses a gastroscope to view the interior of the stomach to find the best location for a puncture when a patient needs to have a feeding tube placed into the stomach. PEG helps to guide the surgical team in implanting the tube.
- tissue sealing. Gastroenterologic endoscopists can fuse tissue to treat bleeding in the GI tract. Learn more.