After careful medical assessment, your physician may recommend that you have a procedure to further evaluate or treat your symptoms. The physicians of Digestive Health Center perform these procedures at New Gulf Coast Surgery Center located in the same plaza as Digestive Health Center. Below are some of the major procedures we perform and a brief description of each. If you are over 45 be sure to visit our pre-cancer screening page for information that could save your life.
Colonoscopy - A colonoscopy exam is one that allows the gastroenterologist to examine the rectum and the entire colon. The endoscope is gently eased inside the colon, allowing the gastroenterologist to see everything in the colon. What they are looking for are polyps, small growths that could be cancerous. Small amounts of air are pumped into the colon to help the gastroenterologist see clearly and to keep the colon open. The entire exam takes only about thirty minutes and patients are usually given medicine to help them relax or sleep during the procedure.
Upper GI Endoscopy - The upper GI endoscopy, also known as an EGD, is extremely valuable in diagnosing and treating many gastrointestinal problems. The endoscope is gently inserted into the mouth and slowly moves down into the esophagus, stomach and the intestines. An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy can help find inflammation in the esophagus and stomach, or diagnose ulcers and tumors. It can also be used to determine the cause of upper gastrointestinal bleeding or if there is difficulty swallowing, pain or indigestion.
ERCP - An endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, or ERCP, is an endoscopy of the drainage ducts of the gallbladder, pancreas and liver. While there are many other valuable tests that can be done, an endoscopy allows the gastroenterologist to perform biopsies and other procedures and they can even take color photographs of the gastrointestinal tract. It even allows the physician to perform biopsies and certain procedures to treat problems. The physician can also take color photographs of the inside of the GI tract. An ERCP is used to diagnose diseases of the pancreas, gallbladder or liver and can help your physician find out if any of the drainage tubes are blocked.
PEG / PEJ - If something happens that interferes with the body getting the nutrients that it needs then many times a gastroenterologist will do either a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG), or a percutaneous endoscopic jejunostomy (PEJ). A PEG is a technique for placing a gastrostomy tube in the stomach. The word percutaneous means “through the skin,” and an endoscope is used to help place the PEG tube in properly. A PEJ procedure is similar to the PEG, except the tube has to be placed into the intestine (jejunum) instead of the stomach. A PEJ may is harder to maintain long term and issued less often than a PEG.
Bravo pH Monitoring - Bravo is a catheter-free pH monitoring system that allows the person to have a normal diet and maintain regular activities without the hassle and embarrassment of other catheter pH monitoring systems. For those who suffer from chronic heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease this test will help your gastroenterologist determine your symptoms and therefore determine the best treatment options. A miniature pH capsule is attached to the esophagus and transmits information to a pager, worn on the belt. A journal is kept for each time there is heartburn and once the testing period is over the journal and the Bravo receiver are studied to help determine what treatment will work best.
Capsule Endoscopy - Capsule endoscopy is exactly what it sounds like. A capsule about the size of a large vitamin has a tiny camera attached and takes constant pictures of the gastrointestinal tract when swallowed. The pictures are transmitted to a date recorder that is worn by the patient. When the test is over the pictures are analyzed and the results are reported. The type of endoscopy helps to gather information in areas that are often hard to see and helps to diagnose many gastrointestinal problems. The new procedure is very common and many people like the idea of this type of endoscopy since there is no medication required or uncomfortable prep. The capsule is disposable and is eliminated naturally
Esophageal Manometry - An esophageal manometry measures the muscle pressure in the upper digestive tract and it helps to determine the strength and function of the esophagus. A catheter is slowly inserted into the esophagus and then the person will be asked to swallow several times and possible swallow a liquid. Holes along the catheter help measure the pressure. The results can help determine the cause of heartburn, swallowing problems and chest pain.