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Gastrointestinal Services

Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center offers a complete range of gastrointestinal services. Our expert staff of gastroenterologists uses the latest tests and technology available to diagnose and treat a wide range of digestive conditions, including cancer.

Select a procedure from the list below to learn more.


Capsule Endoscopy

For this test, you will swallow a pill-sized video camera that takes pictures of the small intestine as it passes through the body. The pictures are sent to a small recording device worn on the outside of the body.

Capsule endoscopy allows doctors to view the small intestine, which can't be reached by traditional upper endoscopy or colonoscopy. The test may be done to search for the cause of bleeding or to help detect polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers or tumors of the small intestine.

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Dilation of the Esophagus

This is done by inserting different types and sizes of instruments into the narrowed portion of the esophagus to permit better swallowing.

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Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a specialized technique that is used to study the ducts of the gallbladder, pancreas and liver. During ERCP, a doctor will pass an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera on it) through the mouth, esophagus and stomach into the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine.

After viewing the common opening to ducts from the liver and pancreas, the doctor will pass a narrow plastic tube called a catheter through the endoscope and into the ducts. He or she will then inject a contrast material (dye) into the pancreatic or biliary ducts and take X-rays to diagnose the problem.

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Endoscopic Ultrasound

Accurate staging of cancers of the esophagus, stomach,rectum, pancreas or bile duct is crucial. That’s why PSJMChas invested in minimally invasive endoscopic ultrasound(EUS).  Using the most advanced three-dimensional, 360-degree technology available, EUS allows physicians tosee inside a patient’s digestive tract and surrounding tissuesand organs like never before.

As a result, EUS provides earlydiagnosis of cancer and can stage cancers with the accuracyneeded to determine the most appropriate treatment plans. And, because it is minimally invasive, open surgery is notnecessary so patients are spared a lengthy recovery time.EUS also allows physicians to see pancreatitis and smalltumors early, which can rule out cancers as a cause ofsymptoms. 

Key Benefits for You

• In many instances, EUS can eliminate the need forinvasive surgeries. And since EUS can pinpoint the exactdiseased area, partial – rather than complete – removalof an organ is possible.

• EUS is effective at treating chronic or severe pain. Withits ability to administer a nerve block to the exact area,EUS can eliminate upper abdominal pain, as well as paindue to pancreas, bile duct, stomach or liver cancer.

• EUS allows physicians to perform a needle biopsy toremove tissue or fluid for quick diagnosis, and completelyremove very small cancerous tumors.

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Enteroscopy includes several types of procedures that allow a doctor to look further into the small bowel (which is up to 25 feet long) than other tests. The doctor may use a longer conventional endoscope, a double-balloon endoscope or a wireless capsule endoscope.

Enteroscopy is typically used to find the source of intestinal bleeding, but can also be used to find lesions and determine the cause of nutritional malabsorption.

An extended version of the conventional endoscope (called a push endoscope) may be used to study the upper part of the small intestine (which is about 40 inches long).

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Esophageal Stenting

When the esophagus is obstructed, narrowed or compressed because of cancer or another condition, swallowing may become difficult. Stents can be used to help hold the esophagus open or seal up tears or leaks.

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Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

During this test, a doctor uses a flexible, lighted instrument to examine the inner walls of the rectum and lower colon. If an unusual growth is found, a colonoscopy may be recommended to examine the entire colon. The colon is cleansed before the procedure. Flexible sigmoidoscopy is recommended every five years for men and women between the ages of 50 and 75 years.

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The SpyGlass System is a leading-edge diagnostic tool for gallbladder and liver diseases available at Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center. It is designed to allow a physician to directly see the site of interest in tiny bile ducts, whether it's a stricture, stones or other area of concern. The technology uses a 6,000-pixel fiber optic probe to enter the biliary anatomy through a special access and delivery catheter.

With the ability to look inside something as tiny as a bile duct and take precise color images, physicians can now make a faster and more accurate diagnosis. In addition, it reduces the need for repeat tests, increasing safety and convenience for patients and their families.

Most importantly, SpyGlass can allow for more effective treatment. Doctors using the device can biopsy immediately, remove even the most difficult bile duct stones and stretch out narrow areas in the bile duct, thus relieving a bile duct blockage. This minimally invasive treatment can even prevent the need for major surgery.

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Upper Endoscopy

This test lets a doctor view the lining of the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach and the duodenum (the first portion of the small intestine).

The test is performed using an endoscope – a thin, flexible tube with a light and tiny camera on the end. The endoscope is passed through the mouth and down the esophagus.

Upper endoscopy can be done for a variety of reasons. It may help a doctor find the cause of persistent upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, trouble swallowing or bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract. It can also help detect inflammation, ulcers and tumors.

In addition, doctors can pass instruments through the endoscope and perform biopsies, remove polyps or treat bleeding.

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Wireless pH Monitoring

This test checks pH levels in the esophagus to help diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). During the test, a capsule placed in the esophagus transmits pH readings to a device worn on the outside of the body.

You'll be able to go about your usual activities while the test is being done, but will be asked to keep track of what you eat, when you sleep and when symptoms occur. This information will be analyzed along with the results of the pH test.

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