Gastroenterology & Hepatology (Digestive Care)
Tests and Procedures
You're able to benefit from these tests and procedures performed by our gastroenterologists in Eau Claire:
ANORECTAL FUNCTION MOTILITY
Anal manometry is a test that uses a narrow, flexible tube that is inserted into the anus and rectum. A small balloon at the tip of the tube may be expanded. This test helps measure the tightness of your anal sphincter and the sensitivity and functioning of your rectum.
Biofeedback is a technique you can use to learn to control some of your body's functions. During biofeedback, you're connected to electrical sensors that help you receive information about your body. This feedback helps you make subtle changes in your body, such as relaxing certain muscles, to achieve the results you want.
This procedure uses a tiny wireless camera to take pictures of your digestive tract. The camera sits inside a vitamin-sized capsule that is swallowed. As the capsule travels through your digestive tract, the camera takes thousands of pictures that are transmitted to a recorder you wear on a belt around your waist or over your shoulder. It is used to diagnose diseases of the small intestine including Crohn's disease, celiac disease and other malabsorption disorders; benign and malignant tumors of the small intestine; vascular disorders; and medication-related small bowel injury.
A colonoscopy is an exam used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine and rectum. During a colonoscopy, a long, flexible tube, called a colonoscope, is inserted into the rectum. A tiny video camera at the tip of the tube allows the doctor to view the inside of the entire colon. If necessary, polyps or other types of abnormal tissue can be removed through the scope during a colonoscopy. Tissue samples can be taken during a colonoscopy to biopsy for cancerous cells. Learn more about colon cancer screenings.
ENDOSCOPIC RETROGRADE CHOLANGIANCREATOGRAPHY (ERCP)
ERCP is a procedure that examines the tubes that drain the liver, gallbladder and pancreas. The test combines the use of a flexible, lighted scope (endoscope) with X-ray pictures. It is used to provide important information that cannot typically be obtained by other diagnostic examinations, such as an abdominal ultrasound, CT scan or MRI.
ERCP may be used to remove or crush gallstones, check persistent abdominal pain or jaundice, open the entry of the ducts into the bowel, stretch out narrow segments, take tissue samples or drain blocked areas.
During the procedure, an intravenous (IV) line is placed in your arm and a medication will be given to relax or sedate you. You will lie on your stomach or left side. A spray to numb the throat will be given and a mouth guard will be placed in your mouth to protect your teeth. After the sedative takes effect, the endoscope is inserted in your mouth. You should not feel discomfort and may have little memory of the test. A thin tube is passed through the endoscope and inserted into the ducts that lead to the pancreas and gallbladder. A special dye is injected into these ducts and X-rays are taken. This helps the doctor see stones, tumors and any areas that have become narrowed.
After the procedure, you will need to have someone drive you home. Drink fluids and eat light meals right after your procedure. You’ll notice some bloating or gas for about 24 hours after the procedure and may have a sore throat for a few days. Use a heating pad or acetaminophen to relieve pain and bloating. Avoid heavy lifting for the first 48 hours after your procedure. Call your doctor if you have abdominal pain or severe bloating, bleeding from the rectum, black stools, fever or nausea/vomiting.
This is a relatively new procedure used to evaluate the gastrointestinal tract and surrounding organs. It is revolutionizing staging of esophageal, rectal and gastric cancer by improving its accuracy. It also is useful in accessing the chest for biopsy of lymph nodes in patients with lung cancer, suspected lymphoma or for biopsy of unknown masses in the chest.
Here's why endoscopic ultrasound is revolutionary:
- In the same way a ship's sonar can depict an iceberg under water, the high-frequency of EUS reveals the full extent and nature of abnormalities, including information that is critical to accurate diagnosis and optimum care.
- In skilled hands, EUS can locate abnormalities not detectable by any other means.
- EUS is done from inside the body, near or even touching the targeted area. A finer, higher frequency imaging energy can be used.
- The superior resolution of EUS shows all five layers of the digestive tract wall, almost like a microscope. No other test can see the intestinal wall as well.
- Because it is video-based, EUS also provides a seamless stream of data, eliminating the unseen and unrecorded gaps between the still images of CT scans.
- Allows noninvasive biopsy of chest lymph nodes or masses without risks of surgery (no incision, no surgery).
Common uses for EUS include:
- Staging of esophageal, stomach, pancreas and rectal cancer
- Evaluation of abnormalities of the gastrointestinal wall or adjacent structures
- Evaluation of thickened stomach folds (could be a smooth muscle tumor below the surface)
- Diagnosis (biopsy) and staging of pancreatic cancer
- Evaluation of pancreatic abnormalities (suspected masses, lesions, pancreatitis)
- Diagnosis and staging of bile duct cancer
- Evaluation of suspected gallstones in the bile duct
- Evaluation of anal muscles that may have been injured during childbirth, etc.
Your esophagus is a muscular tube connecting your throat to your stomach. With each swallow, the esophagus muscle contracts and pushes food into the stomach. At the lower end of the esophagus, a valve (a special sphincter muscle) remains closed except when food or liquid is swallowed or when you belch or vomit. When you have problems with heartburn, pain or difficulty swallowing, an esophageal manometry test may be prescribed by your doctor. This test measures the pressures and pattern of muscle contractions in your esophagus. Abnormalities in the contraction and strength of the sphincter in the esophagus will be evaluated and identified with this test. Learn more about what to expect during an esophageal manometry.
GASTROINTESTINAL ENDOSCOPIC MUCOSAL RESECTION (EMR)
This is a procedure to remove early-stage cancer and precancerous growths from the lining of the digestive tract. Endoscopic mucosal resection is performed with a long, narrow tube equipped with a light and video camera. During EMR of the upper digestive tract, the doctor passes this tube down your throat into your esophagus, stomach or upper part of the small intestine. To reach the colon, the doctor guides the tube up through the anus. The doctor then inserts instruments through the tube to perform the procedure.
This is surgery that can be done through one or more small incisions, using small tubes and tiny cameras and surgical instruments.
A liver biopsy is a procedure to remove a small piece of liver tissue, so it can be examined under a microscope for signs of damage or disease. Your doctor may recommend a liver biopsy if blood tests or imaging studies suggest you might have a liver problem. A liver biopsy is also used to determine the severity of liver disease and helps guide treatment decisions.
UPPER GI ENDOSCOPY
Also known as esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) or gastroscopy, this procedure uses a small, flexible instrument to examine the esophagus, stomach and upper small intestine to look for causes of abdominal pain, difficult or painful swallowing, gastrointestinal bleeding, nausea and vomiting, heartburn or weight loss. During a upper GI endoscopy, your physician can dilate or stretch narrowed areas of the esophagus and stomach; take tissue samples (biopsies) to check for inflammation, infection and cancer; remove growths; remove foreign bodies or food that are stuck in the GI tract; and find and treat actively bleeding lesions using medications, cautery or clipping devices.
It commonly is done as an outpatient procedure, and you will be allowed to go home within an hour of the procedure. You must not eat or drink for six to eight hours before the procedure, but no other preparation is required. A small IV will be inserted in your arm to administer the sedative. In addition, a local anesthetic will be sprayed into the back of the throat to further increase your comfort. The effect of this anesthetic lasts an hour, after which you may safely eat and drink. The exam typically takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Your physician will be able to immediately discuss the findings of the exam unless tissue samples were sent to the lab, in which case results will not be available for a few days. You must arrange for transportation home, and may not drive for 12 hours following the exam due to the effects of the sedation and slowed reaction times.
The examination is not painful, but sedation is used to prevent gagging during the procedure. Most patients have no recollection of the exam. It is extraordinarily safe in the hands of our board-certified gastroenterologists.
Watch a video on how an endoscopy is performed.