Gastroenterology Services

The mission of our department is the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the digestive tract.Our patients are cared for by teams of physicians with broad expertise in all forms of gastroenterological diseases.

The department offers

  • Diagnostic & Therapeutic Endoscopies
  • Upper GI Endoscopy
  • Colonoscopy

The department treats
Acid Peptic Disease
Acid peptic disorders include a number of conditions whose pathophysiology is believed to be the result of damage from acid and pepsin activity in the gastric secretions. We will focus on gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and peptic ulcer disease, the two most common and well-defined disease states.
Gastrointestinal bleeding
Gastrointestinal bleeding or gastrointestinal hemorrhage describes every form of hemorrhage (loss of blood) in the gastrointestinal tract, from the pharynx to the rectum. It has diverse causes, and a medical history, as well as physical examination, generally distinguishes between the main forms. The degree of bleeding can range from nearly undetectable to acute, massive, life-threatening bleeding.

What is upper GI Endoscopy?

The term ‘endoscopy’ refers to a special technique for looking inside a part of the body. Upper GI is the portion of the gastrointestinal tract, the digestive system that includes the esophagus, the swallowing tube leading to the stomach, which is connected to the duodenum, the beginning of the small intestine.
The esophagus carries food from the mouth for digestion in the stomach and duodenum.
Upper GI endoscopy is a procedure performed to diagnose and in some cases treat problems of the upper digestive system
The endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and light on the end. By adjusting the various controls on the endoscope, the gastroenterologist can safely guide the instrument to carefully examine the inside lining of the upper digestive system.
The high quality picture from the endoscope is shown on a TV monitor; it gives a clear, detailed view. In many cases, upper GI endoscopy is a more precise examination than X-ray studies.
Upper GI endoscopy can be helpful in the evaluation or diagnosis of various problems, including difficult or painful swallowing, pain in the stomach or abdomen and bleeding, ulcers and tumors.

How Do I Prepare for the Procedure?

Regardless of the reason upper GI endoscopy has been recommends for you; there are important steps you can take to prepare for and participate in the procedure. First, be sure to give your doctor a complete list of all the medicines you are taking and any allergies you have to drug or other substances.
Your medical team will also want to know if you have any heart, lung or other medical conditions that may need special attention before, during or after upper GI endoscopy. You will be given instructions in advance that will outline what you should not do in preparation for the upper GI endoscopy. Be sure to read and follow these instructions
One very important step in preparing for upper GI endoscopy is that you should not eat or drink prior to six to eight hours of your procedure. Food in the stomach will block the view through the endoscope, and it could cause vomiting.
Upper GI endoscopy can be done in either a hospital or out patient setting. You’ll be asked to sign a form that verifies that you consent to having the procedure and that you understand what is involved.
If there is anything you don’t understand, ask for more information.

What can you expect during an upper GI endoscopy?

During the procedure, everything will be done to help you be as comfortable as possible. Your blood pressure, pulse, and the oxygen level in your blood will be carefully monitored. Your doctor may give you a sedative medication if require; the drug will make you relaxed and drowsy, but you will remain awake enough to cooperate.
You may also have your throat sprayed or be asked to gargle with a local anesthetic to help keep you comfortable as the endoscope is passed. A supportive mouthpiece will be placed to help you keep your mouth open during the endoscopy. Once you are fully prepared, your doctor will gently maneuver the endoscope into position.
As the endoscope is slowly and carefully inserted, air is introduced through it to help your doctor see better. During the procedure, you should feel no pain and it will not interfere with your breathing.
Your doctor will use the endoscope to look closely for any problems that may require evaluation, diagnosis or treatment.
In some cases it may be necessary to take a sample of tissue, called a biopsy, for later examination under the microscope. This too is a painless procedure. In other cases, this endoscope can be used to treat a problem such as active bleeding from an ulcer.

What are the possible complications from an upper GI Endoscopy?

Years of experience have proved that upper GI endoscopy is a safe procedure. Typically it takes only few minutes to perform.

Complications rarely occur. These include

Perforation- a puncture of the intestinal wall, which could require surgical repair
Bleeding – This requires transfusion

Be sure to discuss any specific concerns with your doctor

When your endoscopy is completed you will be cared for in a recovery area until most of the effects of the medication have worn off

Your doctor will inform you about the results of the procedure and additional information you need to know.

What can I expect after my upper GI Endoscopy?

You will be given instruction regarding how soon you can eat and drink, plus other guidelines for resuming your normal activity.
Occasionally, minor problems may persist, such as mild sore throat bloating or cramping; these should disappear in 24 hours or less
By the time you are ready to go home; you will feel stronger and more alert. Nevertheless, you should plan on resting for the reminder of the day. This means not driving so you will need to have a family member or friends take home
In a few days, you will hear from your doctor with additional information such as results of the biopsy or you may have questions you want to ask the doctor directly.

Colonoscopy
Colonoscopy is a procedure used to see inside the colon and rectum which are parts of the large intestine for diagnoses and /or treatment.
1. What problems can colonoscopy detect?
Colonoscopy is a procedure used to see inside the colon and rectum.
Colonoscopy can help doctors diagnose the reasons for

  • Unexplained changes in bowel habits
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bleeding from the anus
  • Unexplained weight loss

Colonoscopy can also detect inflamed tissue, ulcers, and abnormal growths.

The procedure is used to look for early signs of colorectal cancer. The doctor can also take samples from abnormal-looking tissues during colonoscopy. The procedure, called a biopsy, allows the doctor to later look at the tissue with a microscope for signs of disease. The doctor removes polyps and takes biopsy tissue using tiny tools passed through the scope. If bleeding occurs, the doctor can usually stop it with an electrical probe or special medications passed through the scope. Tissue removal and the treatments to stop bleeding are usually painless.

2. Colonoscopy can be used to

  • Remove polyps (polypectomy)
  • Dilate narrowed segments (stricture dilation) of large intestine and place metallic stents across them (colonic stenting)
  • Banding for haemorrhoids (piles banding)

3. How is colonoscopy performed?

During colonoscopy, patients lie on their left side on an examination table. The doctor inserts a long, flexible, lighted tube called a colonoscope, into the anus and slowly guides it through the rectum and into the colon. The scope inflates the large intestine with carbon dioxide gas to give the doctor a better view. A small camera mounted on the scope transmits a video image from inside the large intestine to a computer screen, allowing the doctor to carefully examine the intestinal lining. The doctor may ask the patient to move periodically so the scope can be adjusted for better viewing.

Once the scope has reached the opening to the small intestine, it is slowly withdrawn and the lining of the large intestine is carefully examined again. Bleeding and puncture of the large intestine are possible but they are uncommon complications during colonoscopy.