We offer several procedures at the ECSM including colonoscopy, dilatation, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and upper endoscopy. All are used to detect and resolve any abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract. In addition to cancer screening, endoscopy is also used to remove foreign bodies from the airways or gastrointestinal tract, to check for areas of abnormal bleeding, and to perform minor surgical procedures.
• Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy allows a physician to examine the lining of the colon (large bowel) for abnormalities. A flexible tube is inserted through the rectum and slowly advanced through the colon as the physician checks for polyps and other abnormal structures. Generally, polyps are removed and sent for biopsy. Tissue samples of the colon lining may also be collected and sent for laboratory analysis.
• Dilation: There are a number of dilating techniques available to the physician. Simple bougie dilatation may be done in the office, in a sitting position, and with only an anesthetic spray of the throat. If endoscopy is performed at the same time, then it will be done in the endoscopy suite, usually under sedation. If X-ray fluoroscopy equipment is needed, the procedure is performed in the X-ray unit. Simple bougie dilatation may take only a few minutes. The other techniques require 20 to 30 minutes. Recovery is usually quick and the patient can soon begin eating and drinking to test the effectiveness of the treatment.
• Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: This procedure allows the physician to examine the lining of the rectum and a portion of the colon (large intestine) by inserting a flexible tube about the thickness of a finger into the anus and slowly advancing it into the rectum and lower part of the colon.
• Upper Endoscopy: An upper endoscopy is the examination of the upper part of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first portion of the small intestine). The physician will use a thin, flexible endoscope that will allow him or her to view images from the patient’s gastrointestinal tract on a high definition video monitor.