Posts for tag: Endoscopy
How your gastroenterologists in Anchorage and Eagle River, AK, use endoscopies to help keep you healthy!
If your doctor has recommended that you undergo an endoscopy, you may be wondering what the exact purpose of this procedure may be. The truth is, an endoscopy is an important way to diagnose problems of the upper digestive system. With two convenient office locations in Anchorage and Eagle River, Alaska, the gastroenterologists here at Alaska Digestive & Liver Disease offer a full range of gastroenterology services including endoscopic treatment to help keep you healthy. Read on to learn more!
The Basics about Endoscopies
Using an endoscope, your doctor can diagnose and treat problems associated with your esophagus, duodenum, stomach, and upper intestine. Some of the most common diseases and conditions that endoscopies can detect include:
- Anemia, ulcers, and hiatal hernias
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD
- Celiac disease and gastrointestinal cancers
During an endoscopy, an ultra-thin, flexible tube is inserted into your mouth and guided down into your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. The tube dilates your esophagus to allow for better visibility and access to structures. The tube has a tiny camera attached to the end which allows your gastroenterologist to view your upper digestive system. Your gastroenterologist can also take a small tissue sample for biopsy and remove polyps or abnormal growths if necessary.
Your doctor may recommend an endoscopy if you are experiencing signs and symptoms including:
- Chronic nausea and vomiting
- Chronic abdominal pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
To prepare for your endoscopy, you will need to refrain from eating or drinking anything for 4 to 8 hours before your procedure. Additionally, you should talk to your doctor about discontinuing the use of any blood thinners or NSAIDS before treatment. Your gastroenterologist may also give you a sedative before treatment, so plan to bring someone with you who can drive you home after your procedure.
Give us a call!
If you’ve been told that you need an endoscopy, don’t worry. Endoscopic procedures are state-of-the-art and are well-tolerated by virtually everyone. To find out more about the benefits of endoscopic procedures and other gastrointestinal services, dial (907) 569-1333 to set up an appointment at either our Anchorage or Eagle River location!
Gastroenterologists are concerned with conditions that affect the stomach, intestinal tract, colon and other organs involved in digestion and waste elimination. These conditions include certain types of cancer, biliary tract disease, ulcers and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The test that checks for these potential health issues is called an endoscopy. There are several different endoscopic procedures that allow your doctor to check the digestive system, including a colonoscopy, enteroscopy and an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Find out more about getting an endoscopy and whether it’s time for you to have this test.
What Is an Endoscopy?
During an endoscopy, a long tube is inserted into an orifice (usually the mouth or anus) to look at the organs of the body. The tube, called an endoscope, has a camera that allows your doctor to view the targeted area. In the case of a colonoscopy, the endoscope is inserted into the rectum and provides a visual of your colon and intestines. An enteroscopy views the small intestine and an upper GI endoscopy looks at the parts of your upper intestinal tract, including the esophagus.
What Does an Endoscopy Detect?
An endoscopy can detect polyps (benign and precancerous) as well as cancerous tumors. It can also identify the presence of ulcers, inflammation and other damage to the wall of the intestines or stomach. An upper GI endoscopy can determine the cause of heartburn, chest pain and problems swallowing your food. In some cases, polyps or objects can be removed during the procedure or tissue samples may be taken. A stent can also be inserted in restricted areas of the stomach, esophagus or intestinal tract.
Do You Need this Test?
Here are a few indications that you should see your gastroenterologist soon for an endoscopy:
- You have intense pain in the abdomen or have been diagnosed with digestive problems
- You have severe acid reflux or chronic heartburn
- You feel as if there is some type of blockage in your intestinal tract (such as long-term constipation)
- There’s blood in the stool
- There’s a family history of colon cancer
- You’re over the age of 50
See Your Gastroenterologist
An endoscopy is not a test that you want to delay long if you’re concerned about your stomach, colon and digestive health. Call a gastroenterologist in your area to schedule an initial consultation and exam today.