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Gastroenterology

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Upper Gastrointestinal Series
Upper Gastrointestinal Series What is an upper gastrointestinal series? An upper gastrointestinal series is an imaging test of your esophagus, stomach, and first part of your small intestine (duodenum). The test is done with X-rays after you swallow a special beverage. The beverage contains either contrast or a powder called barium. A test of just the back of your mouth and throat (pharynx) and esophagus is called a swallow . It is called a barium swallow if barium is used. It is called a Gastrografin s...
CT Scan of the Abdomen
CT Scan of the Abdomen What is a CT scan of the abdomen? CT scan is an imaging test that uses X-rays and a computer to make detailed images of the body. A CT scan shows details of the bones, muscles, fat, soft tissues, organs, and blood vessels. They are more detailed than regular X-rays. In a CT scan, an X-ray beam moves in a circle around your body. This allows many different views of the same part of the body. The X-ray information is sent to a computer that interprets the X-ray data and displays it ...
Liver Scan
Liver Scan What is a liver scan? A liver scan is an imaging test to look at your liver and see how well it is working. This test may also be called a liver-spleen scan because the healthcare provider often looks at the spleen at the same time. A liver scan is a type of nuclear imaging test. This means that a tiny amount of a radioactive matter is used during the scan. The radioactive matter (radioactive tracer) is absorbed by normal liver tissue. The rest of the radioactive tracer is absorbed by your sp...
Barium Swallow
Barium Swallow What is a barium swallow? A barium swallow is an imaging test that uses X-rays to look at your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Your upper GI tract includes the back of your mouth and throat (pharynx) and your esophagus. You may have just a barium swallow. Or this test may be done as part of an upper GI series. This series looks at your esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). X-rays use a small amount of radiation to create images of your bones and inte...
Cecostomy
Cecostomy Procedure overview Cecostomy is a surgery to clear the bowels of feces. It is used for children with fecal incontinence due to severe health problems. Fecal incontinence is being unable to control your bowels. This can involve symptoms ranging from severe constipation to having a bowel movement at an unexpected or embarrassing time. Children with this problem often have severe constipation. In some cases, liquid feces passes around the solid feces. It can leak out which can be embarrassing and...
Upper GI Endoscopy
Upper GI Endoscopy What is an upper GI endoscopy? An upper GI endoscopy or EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) is a procedure to diagnose and treat problems in your upper GI tract (gastrointestinal tract). The upper GI tract includes your food pipe (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. The tube is put into your mouth and throat. Then it is...
Sigmoidoscopy
Sigmoidoscopy What is a sigmoidoscopy? A sigmoidoscopy is a diagnostic test to check the lower part of your colon or large intestine (the sigmoid colon). This part of your colon is close to your rectum and anus. A sigmoidoscopy can help find out why you have: Diarrhea Belly or abdominal pain Constipation Abnormal growths (polyps) Bleeding A sigmoidoscopy may also be used to take a tissue sample or biopsy. And it can be used to remove polyps or swollen veins in your rectum and anus (hemorrhoids). It is a...
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Weight-Loss Surgery
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Weight-Loss Surgery What is Roux-en-Y gastric bypass weight-loss surgery? Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is a type of weight-loss surgery that reduces the size of your stomach to a small pouch – about the size of an egg. It does this by stapling off a section of it. This reduces the amount of food you can take in at meals. The surgeon then attaches this pouch directly to the small intestine, bypassing most of the rest of the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine. Th...
MR Enterography
MR Enterography What is magnetic resonance (MR) enterography? Magnetic resonance enterography is an imaging test that lets your doctor see detailed pictures of your small intestine. It can pinpoint inflammation, bleeding, and other problems. It is also called MR enterography. The test uses a magnetic field to create detailed images of your organs. A computer analyzes the images. Before the test, you will take an oral contrast dye to highlight the small intestine. This is not an X-ray. It does not involv...
Liver Transplant
Liver Transplant What is a liver transplant? A liver transplant is surgery to replace a diseased liver with a healthy liver from another person. A whole liver may be transplanted, or just part of one. In most cases the healthy liver will come from an organ donor who has just died. Sometimes a healthy living person will donate part of their liver. A living donor may be a family member. Or it may be someone who is not related to you but whose blood type is a good match. People who donate part of their liv...
Liver Biopsy
Liver Biopsy What is a liver biopsy? A liver biopsy is a test used to diagnose liver conditions. Tissue samples are removed from your liver and checked under a microscope for signs of damage or disease. A liver biopsy can tell if there are cancer cells or other abnormal cells in your liver. It can also tell how well your liver is working. There are 3 types of liver biopsies: Percutaneous liver biopsy . The most common method. You are given a local anesthetic. A small needle is put into your liver to tak...
Laparoscopy
Laparoscopy What is a laparoscopy? Laparoscopy is a procedure used to check the organs in the belly (abdomen). It can also check a woman’s pelvic organs. Laparoscopy uses a thin lighted tube that has a video camera. The tube is called a laparoscope. It is put into a tiny cut or incision in your belly. The video camera images can be seen on a computer screen. One benefit of laparoscopy is that it is minimally invasive. That means it uses a very small cut in the belly. Laparoscopy usually takes less time ...
Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding
Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding What is laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding? Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) is one of the least invasive operations available for obesity. It’s done with a few tiny abdominal cuts, instead of with one large cut. The surgeon puts instruments through the cuts. One of those instruments is a laparoscope, a tool with a tiny camera. The surgeon uses these tools to place a band around the top portion of the stomach, leaving a very small pouch availabl...
Gastric Bypass (Malabsorptive) Surgery Procedure
Gastric Bypass (Malabsorptive) Surgery Procedure What is gastric bypass surgery? Gastric bypass surgery, a type of bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery), is a procedure that alters the process of digestion. Bariatric surgery is the only option today that effectively treats morbid obesity in people for whom more conservative measures such as diet, exercise, and medication have not been effective. Bariatric surgery works in one of three ways: Restriction, or limiting the amount of food intake by reducin...
Gallbladder Scan
Gallbladder Scan What is a gallbladder scan? A gallbladder scan is an imaging test to look at your gallbladder and see how well it is working. This test may also be called a liver-biliary scan because the doctor often looks at the liver at the same time. The liver is near the gallbladder and works closely with it. A gallbladder scan is a type of nuclear imaging test. This means that a tiny amount of a radioactive matter is used during the scan. The radioactive matter (radioactive tracer) is absorbed by ...
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) What is ERCP? Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, or ERCP, is a procedure to diagnose and treat problems in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas. It combines X-ray and the use of an endoscope—a long, flexible, lighted tube. Your healthcare provider guides the scope through your mouth and throat, then down the esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). Your healthcare provider can view the inside ...
CT Scan of the Liver and Biliary Tract
CT Scan of the Liver and Biliary Tract What is a CT scan of the liver and biliary tract? CT scan is a type of imaging test. It uses X-rays and computer technology to make images or slices of the body. A CT scan can make detailed pictures of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, organs, and blood vessels. They are more detailed than regular X-rays. In a CT scan, an X-ray beam moves in a circle around your body. This allows many different views of the same part of the body. The X-ray in...
CT Scan of the Pancreas
CT Scan of the Pancreas What is a CT scan of the pancreas? CT scan is a type of imaging test. It uses X-rays and computer technology to make images or slices of the body. A CT scan can make detailed pictures of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, organs, and blood vessels. They are more detailed than regular X-rays. In a CT scan, an X-ray beam moves in a circle around your body. This allows many different views of the same part of the body. The X-ray information is sent to a compute...
CT Enterography
CT Enterography What is computed tomography (CT) enterography? CT enterography is an imaging test that uses CT imagery and a contrast material to view the small intestine. The procedure allows your healthcare provider to determine what is causing your condition. He or she can also tell how well you're responding to treatment for a health issue, such as Crohn's disease. A computerized tomography scan, or CT scan, is a type of X-ray that uses a computer to make cross-sectional images of your body. CT ente...
Colonoscopy
Colonoscopy What is a colonoscopy? Colonoscopy is a procedure that lets your healthcare provider check the inside of your entire large intestine or colon. The procedure is done using a long, flexible tube (a colonoscope). The tube has a light and tiny camera on one end. It is put in your rectum and moved into your colon. In addition to letting your provider see the inside of your colon, the tube can be used to: Clean the lining of your colon with a water jet (irrigate) Remove any liquid stool with a suc...
Cholecystectomy
Cholecystectomy What is a cholecystectomy? A cholecystectomy is surgery to remove your gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small organ under your liver. It is on the upper right side of your belly or abdomen. The gallbladder stores a digestive juice called bile which is made in the liver. There are 2 types of surgery to remove the gallbladder: Open (traditional) method. In this method, 1 cut (incision) about 4 to 6 inches long is made in the upper right-hand side of your belly. The surgeon finds the gallb...
Barium Enema
Barium Enema What is a barium enema? A barium enema is an imaging test that uses X-rays to look at your lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Your lower GI tract includes the large intestine (colon) and rectum. X-rays use a small amount of radiation to create images of your bones and internal organs. X-rays are often used to detect bone or joint problems, or to check the heart and lungs. A barium enema is one type of X-ray. Fluoroscopy is often used during a barium enema. Fluoroscopy is a kind of X-ray mov...
Appendectomy
Appendectomy What is an appendectomy? An appendectomy is surgery to remove the appendix when it is infected. This condition is called appendicitis. Appendectomy is a common emergency surgery. The appendix is a thin pouch that is attached to the large intestine. It sits in the lower right part of your belly. If you have appendicitis, your appendix must be removed right away. If not treated, your appendix can burst. This is a medical emergency. There are 2 types of surgery to remove the appendix. The stan...
Abdominal Ultrasound
Abdominal Ultrasound What is an abdominal ultrasound? An abdominal ultrasound is a procedure used to assess the organs and structures within the abdomen (belly). This includes the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, bile ducts, spleen, kidneys, and abdominal aorta. Ultrasound allows your healthcare provider to easily view the abdominal organs and structures from outside the body. Ultrasound may also be used to assess blood flow to abdominal organs. An abdominal ultrasound uses a handheld probe called a transd...
Abdominal X-ray
Abdominal X-ray What is an abdominal X-ray? X-rays use beams of energy that pass through body tissues onto a special film and make a picture. They show pictures of your internal tissues, bones, and organs. Bone and metal show up as white on X-rays. X-rays of the belly may be done to check the area for causes of abdominal pain. It can also be done to find an object that has been swallowed or to look for a blockage or a hole in the intestine. Abdominal X-rays may be taken in the following positions: Stand...
Abdominal Angiogram
Abdominal Angiogram What is an abdominal angiogram? An angiogram is an imaging test that uses X-rays to look at your blood vessels. It is done to check for conditions such as: Weak, stretched or enlarged portion of a blood vessel (aneurysm) Narrowing of a blood vessel (stenosis) Blockages An abdominal angiogram looks at the blood vessels in your belly (abdomen). It may be used to check blood flow to the organs of the abdomen, such as the liver and spleen. It may also be used to guide in the placement of...
Pediatric Appendectomy
Pediatric Appendectomy Procedure overview A pediatric appendectomy is a surgery to remove a child’s appendix. The appendix is a small pouch that’s attached to the large intestine on the lower right side of the abdomen. An appendectomy may be done as an open surgery. This involves cutting into the abdomen and removing the appendix. Or it may be done through one or several smaller cuts using a camera and small instruments. This is called a laparoscopic surgery. Reasons for the procedure The job of the app...
Gastric Banding Surgery for Teens
Gastric Banding Surgery for Teens Gastric banding is a form of weight-loss (bariatric) surgery. It’s used to treat people with severe obesity who haven’t been able to lose weight through diet and exercise alone. It’s most often done in adults. But in some cases, it may be an option for a teen. How a gastric band works A gastric band is a soft, rubbery circle made of silicone. The band is attached to a thin, flexible tube (catheter). The tube is connected to a small, round port. During surgery, the band ...
BPD/DS Weight-Loss Surgery
BPD/DS Weight-Loss Surgery If you are extremely obese and have tried without success to get your weight under control, your healthcare provider may recommend a bariatric surgical procedure known as biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS). This is usually known as the duodenal switch. It can help you lose more weight than either the gastric bypass or the sleeve gastrectomy. The surgery has been shown to help reduce obesity and related illnesses. These include heart disease, high blood pre...
Colostomy
Colostomy Procedure overview A colostomy is an operation that creates an opening for the colon, or large intestine, through the abdomen. A colostomy may be temporary or permanent. It is usually done after bowel surgery or injury. Most permanent colostomies are "end colostomies," while many temporary colostomies bring the side of the colon up to an opening in the abdomen. During an end colostomy, the end of the colon is brought through the abdominal wall, where it may be turned under, like a cuff. The ed...
Proctectomy
Proctectomy Proctectomy is a surgical operation to remove all or part of the rectum. It is often needed to treat rectal cancer. If you have been diagnosed with rectal cancer, your treatment will depend on where and how far along your cancer is, as well as other factors. But for most people with rectal cancer, some type of proctectomy procedure will be needed. A proctectomy may also be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease. Procedure overview Proctectomy can be done in several ways. The type that you ...
Virtual Colonoscopy for Colorectal Cancer Screening
Virtual Colonoscopy for Colorectal Cancer Screening Virtual colonoscopy is a procedure that is done to look for small polyps or other growths inside your colon. Polyps that grow on the inside lining of the colon sometimes turn into colon cancers. The American Cancer Society recommends that most men and women begin screening for colon cancer at age 50. If you have a family history of colon cancer or are at high risk for other reasons, your healthcare provider may want you to begin screening even earlier....
Colectomy
Colectomy (Hemicolectomy, partial colectomy, or segmental resection) Procedure overview A colectomy is a surgical procedure used to treat colon diseases. These include cancer, inflammatory disease, or diverticulitis. The surgery involves removing a portion of the colon, which is part of the large intestine. When treating cancer, the surgeon will typically remove the portion of the colon that appears cancerous. He or she will also remove another small portion on either side of the cancerous part and some...
Pancreas Scan
Pancreas Scan (Pancreas Scintigraphy) Procedure overview What is a pancreas scan? A pancreas scan is a specialized radiology procedure used to assess the pancreas for the presence of a specific type of tumor. A pancreas scan is a type of nuclear radiology procedure. This means that a tiny amount of a radioactive substance is used during the procedure to assist in the examination of the pancreas. A pancreas scan may also be used to treat certain malignant tumors of the pancreas. In many nuclear medicine ...
Gastric Stapling (Restrictive) Surgery Procedure
Gastric Stapling (Restrictive) Surgery Procedure (Other terms that may be used include: Gastric Banding Surgery, Adjustable Gastric Banding, Vertical Banded Gastroplasty) Procedure overview What is gastric stapling (restrictive) surgery? Gastric stapling surgery, also called gastric banding surgery, is a type of bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery) procedure performed to limit the amount of food a person can eat. Bariatric surgery is the only option today that effectively treats morbid obesity in peo...