2010: Issue 1

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2010 > Digestive Health > Digestive diagnosis goes hi-tech

Digestive Diagnosis Goes Hi-Tech


When is Gastroscopy used?

Gastroscopy is used to examine the esophagus and stomach of patients with persistent but unexplained stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, heartburn or difficulty swallowing. It's also used to determine the source of bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Gastroscopy produces detailed images of the digestive system and allows doctors to easily retrieve tissue samples (biopsy) for follow-up testing.

How is the procedure performed?

Gastroscopy uses an instrument fitted with a tiny light and camera called an endoscope. After the patient is given a local anesthetic and relaxation medication, the doctor inserts the endoscope into the mouth and guides it through the esophagus into the stomach or duodenum (upper small intestine). The device can pump air into the stomach to improve image clarity. The entire procedure, including taking images and tissue samples, takes just 10 to 15 minutes.

M2A Capsule Endoscopy

When is the procedure used?

M2A capsule endoscopy is primarily used to diagnose abdominal disorders and to examine the small intestine for signs of bleeding or other problems. Images produced using M2A capsule endoscopy show great detail and clarity, for greater diagnostic precision and accuracy.

How does the procedure work?

The simple procedure begins with the patient swallowing a small endoscope capsule. The capsule passes the esophagus and continues through the stomach. Upon entering the small intestine, it transmits data to the outside receiving device placed near the patient's waist. About six to eight hours later, the digestive system flushes the single-use capsule from the body during a normal bowel movement. 


When is Fibroscan used?

Fibroscan provides detailed images of the liver and surrounding area, so its primary uses are to assess a patient's liver condition, monitor the progression of liver disorders such as hepatitis B and C, liver scarring, and cirrhosis, and to evaluate the progress of liver-related treatments.

How is the procedure conducted?

The doctor positions a hand-held probe over the right side of the rib cage where the liver is located. Ultrasound signals emitted by the probe are tracked and analyzed by Fibroscan software. The instant results allow doctors to conduct any necessary treatment without delay. The Fibroscan procedure is usually completed within 10 minutes.


When is it necessary?

A colonoscopy is usually recommended for patients experiencing unusual bowel-related symptoms such as chronic constipation, diarrhea, bloody stools, presence of an anal polyp, or significant weight loss combined with fatigue and pale skin. Colonoscopy screening is also recommended as part of the standard annual check-up for both men and women beginning at age 50 - or earlier for patients at higher risk for cancer and other colorectal diseases.

How is the procedure performed?

An ultra-thin 11-millimeter tube with an attached camera is inserted into the anus and guided through the colon to the end of the large intestine. Real-time images allow the doctor to closely examine the colon and large intestine; if any abnormalities are apparent, the device can capture tissue samples for follow-up laboratory testing. The procedure lasts about 30 to 45 minutes.

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