Treatment of Gastroenterological Disorders
The Endoscopy Center at Aiken Regional Medical Centers has advanced endoscopic equipment designed to help diagnose and treat disorders of all gastroenterological organs, including the esophagus, stomach, small bowel, colon, gall bladder, liver and pancreas. The physician staff includes board-certified gastroenterologists and surgeons with expertise in digestive disease, biliary tract disease (gall stones), pancreatic diseases and inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease).
Advanced Testing and Treatment
The Endoscopy Center offers a wide range of treatments and surgeries for gastrointestinal (GI) conditions.
Endoscopic Services for Gastrointestinal Conditions
Endoscopy refers to the process of looking inside a hollow organ with an endoscope, which is a flexible tube with a light and viewing system. Endoscopes are used to project images onto a monitor or computer screen.
Endoscopic procedures can be used to treat many gastrointestinal (GI) conditions. Most of these procedures are non-invasive and can be done without an overnight stay at the hospital.
New Therapy for Barrett's Esophagus
The Endoscopy Center is pleased to offer Barrx radiofrequency ablation, a therapy that treats patients who have early-stage Barrett's esophagus.
Barrett's esophagus is a condition that can develop in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition is marked by precancerous changes to the lining of the esophagus.
Services Performed at the Endoscopy Center
Services performed include the following:
- Colonoscopy: Colonoscopy is a procedure that lets your doctor look inside your entire large intestine. The colonscope allows your doctor to see things such as inflamed tissue, abnormal growths, and ulcers. Your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy to look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. It may be part of a routine screening, which usually starts at age 50 or to look for causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits. The doctor can also remove polyps from your colon during a colonoscopy.
- Upper Endoscopy (EGD): An upper endoscopy or EGD examines the lining of the upper part of your GI tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (first portion of the small intestine). Upper endoscopy helps your doctor evaluate symptoms of persistent upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or difficulty swallowing. It is the best test for finding the cause of bleeding from the GI tract. A small tissue sample may be obtained during the EGD and sent to the laboratory for analysis.
- High-Resolution Esophageal Manometry: Esophageal manometry records pressures within the esophagus to see if the esophagus is contracting and relaxing properly. This test helps diagnose many swallowing problems and is a key part of the evaluation prior to surgery for gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD).
- Anorectal Manometry: Anorectal manometry evaluates bowel function in patients with constipation or stool leakage. It is used to measures strength of the anal sphincter muscles, sensation of stooling in the rectum, and movement of the rectal and anal muscles.
- Esophageal pH probe study: The esophageal pH test is an outpatient procedure performed to measure the pH or amount of acid that flows into the esophagus from the stomach during a 24-hour period. The procedure is commonly used to help confirm the diagnosis of reflux disease or to identify the cause of various symptoms. The Endoscopy Center uses a newer, wireless device that makes monitoring the pH level easier. A disposable capsule is placed into the esophagus using an endoscope, which wirelessly transmits information to a receiver worn around the waist. The patient returns the receiver to the Endoscopy Center where the recorded information is interpreted by a physician.
- Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS): Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) combines endoscopy and ultrasound to obtain images and information about the digestive tract and surrounding tissue and organs. EUS can show early phases of fibrosis, developing gallstones, or changes in the pancreatic or biliary duct system. EUS can also identify pancreatic tumors and metastatic cancer in the liver and surrounding areas. Fine needle aspiration can be performed with EUS for further evaluation of tissue samples.
- Barrx Therapy—Barrx Procedure (Radiofrequency Ablation): This new endoscopic technique is used to treat patients with Barrett's esophagus. The Endoscopy Center uses the Barrx Flex 360 and 90 catheters, which ablate the affected Barrett's tissue in a brief, safe and effective procedure.
- Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): ERCP combines the use of an endoscope with X-ray pictures to examine the tubes that drain the liver, gallbladder and pancreas. ERCP can help a doctor make a diagnosis, remove a gallstone, widen or support a bile duct with a stent, or take a sample of tissue or fluid for laboratory analysis.
Get Treatment for Gastrointestinal Disorders at the Endoscopy Center
The Endoscopy Center is located on the third floor at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.
Contact Kathy Cornforth, Director of Surgical Services and the Endoscopy Center, at 803-641-5131.