Contracted via blood-to-blood contact, hepatitis C is an infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation. Many people infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have no symptoms. In fact, most people do not know they have the hepatitis C infection until liver damage shows up decades later.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition of the digestive system. Its primary symptoms are abdominal pain and altered bowel habits (eg, constipation and/or diarrhea), but these symptoms have no identifiable cause.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, causes people to experience acid reflux symptoms such as heartburn, vomiting, or pain with swallowing. The reflux of stomach acid can adversely affect the vocal cords or even be inhaled into the lungs (called aspiration).
Colonoscopy is a procedure used to see inside the colon and rectum. Colonoscopy can detect inflamed tissue, ulcers, and abnormal growths. The procedure is used to look for early signs of colorectal cancer. It can help physicians diagnose causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, bleeding from the lower intestine, and weight loss.
What is Upper GI Endoscopy/EGD (Esophagogastroduodenoscopy)?
Upper GI endoscopy is a procedure that uses a lighted, flexible endoscope to see the inside of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The upper GI tract includes the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). The procedure can help physicians diagnose ulcers, changes/complications of acid reflux, and causes of abdominal pain.
What is Enteroscopy?
Enteroscopy includes several types of procedures that allow physicians to look further into, or at the entire length of the small intestine (which is up to 25 feet long). Enteroscopy is primarily used to find sources of intestinal bleeding, but can be use to find abnormal growths, and determine the causes for nutritional malabsorption.
What is ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography)?
ERCP is a procedure use primarily to diagnose and treat conditions of the bile ducts, including gallstones, inflammatory strictures (scars), leaks (from trauma and surgery), and cancer. ERCP combines the use of x-rays and an endoscope. Through the endoscope, the physician can see inside the stomach and duodenum, and inject dyes into the ducts in the biliary tree and pancreas so they can be seen on x-rays. Through this procedure, physicians can remove stones lodged in the ducts and open blockages caused by strictures and tumors.
What is Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure use to see inside the descending colon, sigmoid colon and rectum. Flexible sigmoidoscopy can detect inflamed tissue, abnormal growths, and ulcers. The procedure is used to look for early signs of cancer. It can help diagnose causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, bleeding from the lower intestine, and weight loss.
What is Capsule Endoscopy (Pillcam)?
Capsule endoscopy with Pillcam is an outpatient procedure that examines the small intestine. A Pillcam is an 11mm x 26mm video capsule with its own camera and light source that is swallowed by the patient. It takes two pictures per second and generates more than 50,000 pictures in an eight hour period. The study can detect disorders of the small intestine such as Crohn’s disease, small bowel tumors, bleeding lesions, and small bowel injury due to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use.
What is Bravo Capsule Test?
Bravo capsule test involves a capsule (the size of a long gel cap) that measures the pH environment of the esophagus; thus, it detects the presence of acid reflux. The Bravo delivery system (capsule attached to the catheter) is inserted orally and advanced down the esophagus. Once positioned and the capsule attached, the delivery system is removed. Information is transmitted from the capsule to the receiver (a pager-like device worn on the belt or waistband) for 48 hours.
What is pH Impedence Test?
The pH/impendence test is used to measure and classify non-acidic and/or acidic reflux episodes in the esophagus along with determination of patient’s symptom correlation for a 24 hour period. A thin, flexible, disposable probe (the size of a spaghetti noodle) is gently inserted through the nose and throat with the tip inside the esophagus or stomach. The probe is then securely taped to the nose and cheek with its end connected to the pH monitor device for 24 hours.
What is H. Pylor Urea Breath Test (UBT)?
The Urea Breath Test, or UBT, is a simple breath test that detects the presence of active infection with H. pylori, a bacteria found in the stomach. H. pylori is the leading cause of peptic ulcer disease in the United States. The test takes approximately 30 minutes and is performed in local laboratories. A baseline breath sample is obtained. Then, the patient drinks 4oz. of solution (Pranactin-Citric) and another breath sample is obtained 15 minutes later. Results are available in 2 to 3 days.
What is Esophageal Manometry?
Esophageal manometry is the measurement of muscle pressures and functioning of the esophagus in patients with swallowing disorders or unexplained chest pain. A thin, flexible, disposable catheter (the size of a spaghetti noodle) is gently inserted through the nose and throat with the tip inside the esophagus and stomach. The patient is then asked to swallow small sips of water while the catheter measures the muscle contractions of the esophagus and sphincter muscles. Upon completion, the catheter is removed. The recorded data is analyzed by the physician and a formal report is completed.