Gastroenterology requires specialized training in understanding and treating diseases of the digestive system (the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine, liver, pancreas and gallbladder).
Our gastrointestinal system is an extensive network of tubes and specialized organs that allow us to digest our food, remove nutrients and dispose of waste. Nearly 70 million Americans suffer from gastrointestinal disorders, which are responsible for the hospitalization of more people in this country than any other group of diseases. Some of the performed in our endoscopy laboratory include:
Colonoscopy – An examination of the colon using a soft, flexible fiber-optic instrument to examine the entire colon lining, and also performs biopsies and polyp removal. Only two out of 10 eligible people take advantage of this important screening tool.
EGD (Upper Endoscopy) – This procedure uses a soft, flexible fiber-optic instrument to examine the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.
Esophageal 24-hour pH Study – Uses a tiny flexible tube to measure the amount of acid that refluxes (comes up) from the stomach to the esophagus during a 24-hour period.
Sigmoidoscopy – uses a flexible, fiber-optic tube to examine limited portions of the lower colon.
- Current American Cancer Society guidelines for colorectal cancer screening for both men and women (beginning at age 50) should follow one of these five options: Yearly fecal occult blood test (all positive tests should be followed by a colonoscopy)
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years
- Yearly fecal occult blood test, plus sigmoidoscopy every 5 years
- Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years
- Colonoscopy every 7-10 years
People should begin screening earlier or have screening more often if they have any of the following colon cancer risk factors:
- A strong family history of colorectal cancer or polyps (a parent, sibling or child who developed cancer or polyps younger than age 60)
- Families with hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes
- A personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps
- A personal history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)