A colonoscopy is a test a physician conducts to look at the interior lining of the large intestine using a thin, flexible viewing instrument called a colonoscope. It can be used as a screening test to identify and remove pre-cancerous and cancerous or abnormal growths in the colon or rectum. It also can help detect ulcers, polyps, tumors and areas of inflammation or bleeding, and be used to collect tissue samples.
An endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a nonsurgical medical evaluation that has proven effective for assessing gastrointestinal disorders using the high-frequency sound-wave technology known as ultrasound. This state-of-the-art combination allows the doctor to examine tissue not only within the digestive tract, but also surrounding it. Like an endoscopy, an EUS uses a flexible tube called an endoscope, which works like a periscope. The doctor inserts this tube into the digestive tract through the mouth or the rectum to examine internal organs and photograph and videotape the findings. EUS is as comfortable as a regular endoscopy, although it takes longer because it is more precise, and because there are more details for the doctor to examine and interpret.
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
ERCP is a procedure that combines the use of a flexible, lighted scope (endoscope) with X-ray pictures to view the system of tubes that drains the liver, gallbladder and pancreas. ERCP is done to evaluate problems in the liver, the gallbladder, the tubes that carry bile from the liver to the intestine (bile ducts), and the tubes that carry pancreatic juices from the pancreas (pancreatic ducts). Some problems identified with ERCP may be treated during the procedure.
The Bravo™ pH Monitoring System from Medtronic is the first catheter-free method of measuring esophageal pH (acidity) levels in patients who have or are suspected of having gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This means there are no tubes or wires for the patient to deal with. With the Bravo system, patients can maintain their usual diet and activities while having their pH levels tested.
pH testing is the gold standard for diagnosing GERD, and the first step in determining appropriate medical or surgical treatment. The Bravo system involves a miniature pH capsule about the size of a gelcap that is attached to the esophagus and transmits pH information to a pager-sized receiver worn by the patient.
The Bravo system is an alternative to the traditional pH testing method, which involves placing a catheter through the nose and down the esophagus. The transnasal catheter is uncomfortable and conspicuous, leading most patients to modify their daily activities and/or diet, or in some cases, to avoid the test altogether.
The catheter-free Bravo system provides data more representative of the patient’s day-to-day activities than traditional pH monitoring methods because patients are able to maintain a normal diet and activity level during testing.
At Tallahassee Memorial, the SpyGlass Direct Visualization Cholangioscopy System gives physicians a more accurate view to evaluate and diagnose gallstones, suspected malignancies, bile duct strictures and cystic lesions.
The SpyGlass System includes a 6,000-pixel fiber optic camera with a light probe, dedicated irrigation channels and miniature forceps to take tissue samples. The physician can steer the camera in four directions, allowing them to pinpoint the exact spot they want to examine while seeing clear, color images in real time. Physicians can see the exact spot being biopsied, which is not possible with other diagnostic procedures.
Benefits of the SpyGlass include quicker and more precise diagnoses, better visualization and mobility for the physician to perform immediate biopsies in full view, fewer repeat procedures and reduced exposure to X-ray for patients. The addition of this advanced technology gives the physicians at TMH the ability to give patients a diagnosis with greater accuracy and speed, therefore allowing these patients earlier access to life-saving and/or life-prolonging treatments.