Digestive Care Center’s focused expertise allows us to offer advanced procedures for the diagnosis and treatment of many different types of digestive conditions your patients may face. Following are the procedures — both routine and advanced — that we commonly perform, as well as the conditions they are most often used to investigate and/or treat:
Colonoscopy (lower GI endoscopy)
A colonoscopy is a common procedure used to examine the entire large intestine.
Used to Evaluate/Diagnose: A colonoscopy is useful for diagnosing inflamed tissue, abnormal growths and ulcers in your patients and is most often used to look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. It’s also used to evaluate symptoms such as abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, unexplained changes in bowel habits and weight loss.
Gastroscopy (upper GI endoscopy or EGD)
An upper GI endoscopy (EGD) is a procedure used to investigate the interior lining of the esophagus, stomach and the duodenum. Endoscopy can reveal problems that do not show up on X-rays, and it can sometimes eliminate the need for exploratory surgery.
Used to Evaluate/Diagnose: Ulcers, inflammation, tumors, infection or bleeding in your patients. Tissue samples can be collected (biopsy), polyps can be removed and bleeding can be treated through use of the endoscope.
Therapeutic Endoscopy (ERCP)
Therapeutic Endoscopy (ERCP) combines the power of X-ray with use of the endoscope, allowing our physicians to 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-ray. If the exam shows a gallstone or narrowing of the ducts, the physician can actually remove or relieve the obstruction during the procedure.
Used to Evaluate/Diagnose: Problems in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and pancreas. It is most commonly used to diagnose and treat conditions of the bile ducts, including gallstones, inflammatory strictures (scars), leaks and cancer or to collect tissue samples for further testing.
Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) to treat Barrett’s Esophagus
Ablation therapy is performed in conjunction with upper endoscopy to treat Barrett’s Esophagus. The treatment is performed in an outpatient setting and no incisions are involved. The HALO ablation technology consists of two different devices; the HALO 360 and the HALO 90 ablation catheters. The HALO 360 ablation catheter is capable of treating larger areas of Barrett’s Esophagus, while the HALO 90 ablation catheter is used to treat smaller areas. This minimally invasive endoscopic procedure removes a thin outer layer of the diseased esophagus. Over a period of 8 weeks, new healthy tissue will replace the diseased tissue.
Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a procedure used to obtain images and information about the digestive tract and the surrounding tissue and organs. Because the EUS transducer can get closer to the organ(s) being examined, the images obtained with EUS are often more accurate and more detailed than images provided by traditional ultrasound.
Used to Evaluate/Diagnose: Stages of cancer, chronic pancreatitis or other disorders of the pancreas. It is also used to study abnormalities or tumors in organs, including the gallbladder and liver, the muscles of the lower rectum and anal canal to determine reasons for fecal incontinence and nodules (bumps) in the intestinal wall.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a routine outpatient procedure in which the inner lining of the lower large intestine, called the sigmoid colon, is examined.
Used to Evaluate/Diagnose: Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain, rectal bleeding or changes in bowel habits. It is also performed to screen people over age 50 for colon and rectal cancer.
In a liver biopsy, our physicians examine a small piece of tissue from the liver for signs of damage or disease, after tests suggest that the liver does not work properly. Our physicians specialize in several methods of biopsy, including needle, laparoscopic and transvenous biopsy, depending on the specific needs of your patient.
Esophageal manometry is an outpatient test used to identify swallowing problems. It measures the strength and muscle coordination of the esophagus when swallowing.
24-Hour PH Probe Study
A PH Probe is a 24-hour test that measures the frequency of stomach acid that backs up into the esophagus.
Used to Evaluate/Diagnose: A PH Probe is the most effective method for diagnosing Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
Capsule endoscopy is used to evaluate the small intestine, which, many times, can’t be reached by traditional upper endoscopy or by colonoscopy.
Used to Evaluate/Diagnose: The most common reason for performing a capsule endoscopy is to search for a cause of bleeding from the small intestine. It is also useful for detecting polyps, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease), ulcers and tumors of the small intestine.
Barryx is a non-invasive, non-surgical treatment option for patients suffering from chronic heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Barryx can also minimize one’s risk of developing esophageal cancer. An upper endoscope is used to view the tissue of the esophageal lining. A sizing balloon is used to measure the esophagus, then the proper Barryx ablation device is used for the actual procedure of ablating (removing) the abnormal tissue, helping to prevent the tissue from developing into cancer. The abnormal cells are destroyed so that new, healthy cells can replace them.
Double Balloon Enteroscopy
With Double Balloon Enteroscopy, it is possible to examine parts of the small intestine that are usually difficult to reach. The procedure involves using two balloons, an enteroscope camera and an overtube. Tissue biopsies may be taken to help make a diagnosis.
Used to Evaluate/Diagnose: Double Balloon Enteroscopy is used to detect disease in the small intestine.
EUS with FNA
Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) with Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) is an outpatient test used to examine the lining and walls of the upper gastrointestinal tract. With the ability to obtain a tissue diagnosis, EUS with FNA has revolutionized the ability to diagnose and stage cancers of the gastrointestinal tract and assess the pancreas. In fact, there are only a few physicians throughout the United States trained to perform this test. Digestive Care Center is pleased to offer this procedure to the Evansville, Indiana region.
Used to Evaluate/Diagnose: The cause of abdominal pain or abnormal weight loss, as well as confirmation of specific illnesses, including cancer of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and other internal organs including the gall bladder, pancreas and bile ducts. During the procedure, tissue samples can be collected to help our physicians assess the depth or spread of any cancer.