Diseases of the digestive tract are responsible for the hospitalization of more people in the United States than any other group of disorders. These problems and diseases can be serious, and you want to make the right choice when choosing a gastroenterology specialist.
At Middlesex Health, all of our gastroenterology specialists are board-certified, specializing in diagnosing and treating disorders of the stomach, intestines, esophagus, and related structures, such as the colon, liver gallbladder, and pancreas.
They treat many patients for the most common problems, including heartburn and reflux, peptic ulcer disease, gallstones, fecal incontinence, and colon cancer and polyps, as well as inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
An upper GI endoscopy or EGD is a procedure to diagnose and treat problems in your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
The upper GI tract includes your esophagus, stomach, and the first part of your small intestine (the duodenum).
This procedure is done using a long, flexible tube called an endoscope. The tube has a tiny light and video camera on one end. First, the tube is put into your mouth and throat. Then it is slowly pushed through your esophagus and stomach and into your duodenum. Video images from the tube are seen on a monitor.
The images collected can diagnose a wide variety of issues. An endoscope can also be used to take tissue samples (biopsies) or GI fluid samples.
A small capsule, about the size of a gel cap, is temporarily attached to the wall of the esophagus during an upper endoscopy. The capsule measures pH levels in the esophagus and transmits readings to a receiver. Knowing if and when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus can help your provider treat your symptoms.
A special endoscope uses high-frequency sound waves to produce detailed images of the lining/walls of your digestive tract and nearby organs such as the pancreas, liver, and lymph nodes. Your doctor may use an endoscopic ultrasound to help diagnose several digestive disorders such as gastrointestinal cancers, small tumors in the pancreas, or stones in the biliary ducts.
Manometry tests are used to measure how well the muscles in the walls and sphincters of the digestive organs function. These tests use a special tube called a manometry catheter. These catheters are equipped with sensors that can measure the strength and movement of the digestive organs.
Several types of manometry tests can be done based on the patient’s symptoms and the location of the muscle dysfunction. Two common types of manometry tests are esophageal manometry and anorectal manometry.
Esophageal manometry - A test that evaluates a person’s ability to swallow. It can help determine if the esophagus is efficiently moving food to the stomach when you swallow. The test measures the function of the lower esophageal sphincter, which is a valve that prevents the contents of your stomach from flowing back into the esophagus (reflux). It also measures the function of the muscles in the esophagus.
Anorectal Manometry - A test performed to check the function of the muscles in the rectum and the anal sphincter. It is used to evaluate people who have difficulty with bowel movements. The test measures the pressure of the anal sphincter muscles, the reflexes that are needed for normal bowel movements, and the sensation in the rectum.
The Halo procedure uses heat energy (radiofrequency ablation) combined with EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy). The heat from electrodes at the end of the endoscope used in the procedure destroys abnormal tissue in the esophagus. However, the heat is precise to the abnormal area and doesn’t damage healthy tissue.
This procedure is recommended to treat Barrett’s esophagus by destroying the abnormal precancerous tissue in the esophagus and allowing the treated areas to heal normally.
Gastrointestinal endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) is a procedure to remove precancerous, early-stage cancer or other abnormal tissues from the digestive tract without surgery.
EMR is performed with a long, narrow tube equipped with a light, video camera, and other instruments. During EMR, the endoscope is passed down your throat to reach an abnormality in your esophagus, stomach, or upper part of the small intestine.
EMR is a less invasive alternative to surgery for removing abnormal tissues from the digestive tract lining. Most patients return home the same day. In addition, because there is no incision, you may recover faster and with less pain than from open or laparoscopic surgery.
Middlesex Health offers some of the most advanced gastrointestinal system surgical procedures. This includes single-site gallbladder removal surgery using the da Vinci® robot-assisted surgical system.