High Resolution Colonoscopy

The majority of individuals are aware of the benefits of a colonoscopy for early colon cancer and pre-cancerous polyp detection; however, many are hesitant to move forward with the procedure due to a dislike of either the preparatory process or an element of embarrassment.  However, a colonoscopy is, and always has been, the best procedure for evaluation of the large intestine or colon to screen for colon cancer.  The team at Gastroenterology Associates understands the concerns and apprehension patients experience in regards to this procedure, and they take the extra steps necessary to put their patients completely at ease.  First, they utilize the easiest, best tolerated prep on the market today and tailor the prep for each individual patient. Second, they are affiliated with the best AAAHC accredited Ambulatory Health Care Centers in the Los Angeles area, all of which, give our patients the discreet personalized care they deserve.

We believe our patients deserve the best, and when you see an AAAHC certificate of accreditation, it means that the organization has closely examined our affiliated facilities and procedure practices.  Also, our gastroenterologists have one of the highest polyp detection rates and one of the lowest complication rates in the Los Angeles area.

Our Gastroenterologists never rush a colonoscopy procedure.  They take the extra time to carefully and thoroughly examine your colon for any possible polyps or other medical concerns.  They will sit with you and personally review the results of your colonoscopy.  Our doctors want to make sure you completely understand the results, and, if necessary, any medical recommendations for further medical care will be made.

The procedure is described below:

The doctor inserts a long, flexible tube with a built-in camera into the rectum. The camera gives the doctor the ability to look at the entire colon and see the images on a computer screen. During this process the doctor may take a tissue sample (biopsy) or remove polyps. The procedure takes 20-40 minutes depending on the patient’s condition. It is an outpatient procedure which means it can be done in a hospital or outside surgery center and the patient is discharged the same day.

There is a wide variety of indications for colonoscopy, some of the most important are:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Colon cancer screening: the American Cancer Society recommends that everybody at age 50 have a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer. Based on the results, patients may have to return in 1, 3, or 5 years.
  • Change in bowel movements (constant diarrhea or constipation) without any improvement after treatment
  • Positive fecal occult blood test
  • History of removing foreign objects
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Family or personal history of colon cancer or inflammatory bowel disease
  • Abnormal findings as a result of diagnostic study

It is very important to clean out the large intestine before the procedure. This helps to ensure that all parts of the colon can be examined. If the proper steps are not taken prior to the colonoscopy and the doctors do not have proper visualization of the entire colon, the patient may have to return for repeat testing. It is recommended to fast for 12 hours prior to the procedure, but the patient may have water, plain tea and plain coffee. Patients should avoid solid food and red liquids in the last 12 hours leading up to the start of the fast. Patient will receive the instructions in the office or via mail. There are additional steps to take in preparation for the procedure and the doctor or staff will give you those in the office. This is usually a combination of oral liquid and 4 pills.

It is necessary to stop blood thinners 5 days before the procedure to reduce the risk of bleeding. Always talk to the prescribing physician prior to discontinuing any medications. Pre-screening is required for each patient prior to the procedure and includes: routine blood test, EKG, review of past medical history and the medications. If patient has had recent blood work and EKG in the last 6 months, there may not be a need to repeat the test.

Patients must sign the consent form on the day of the procedure and will then be given a gown to change into. When the patient is ready, an IV line will be inserted into the arm or hand. During the procedure the blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate will be monitored.

Patients will be sedated, which will allow the patient to be comfortable, relaxed and unaware of the procedure. Although the patient is not under general anesthesia, the nervous system is still under the influence of anesthetic medication so it is necessary to have someone to drive the patient home. Patients cannot leave on their own and may not leave via taxi.

Patients will lie on their left side bending their knees to their belly and the scope will is inserted into the rectum and guided to the colon. The doctor examines the colon and if there are any polyps, they will be removed. Some tissue sample will be taken as well, if necessary. After the procedure is complete, the patient will be transferred to the recovery room. There is possibility of feeling bloated or having gas/cramping. As with any procedure, there may be rare complications which may include: bleeding from the biopsy or polyp removal site, perforation (very rare) or bloating (it is very common and it goes away). If a patient experiences a complication or concern, they should contact us immediately. Our physicians are available at all times by email if concerns arise after your colonoscopy. Contact us immediately if any of these symptoms occur: severe continuous abdominal pain, nonstop vomiting, fever, firm and bloated abdomen, inability to pass gas, frequent bloody stool. Generally walking is helpful when patient feels bloated after procedure.

After the procedure the patient is advised to relax the remainder of the day. The results will be ready in 2 weeks and the doctor will review them with the patient.

Our center utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach to your healthcare, which means that patients benefit from the combined expertise of physicians who have the knowledge, perspective and experience to address all aspects of your complete gastroenterological care.

We offer the most advanced diagnostic techniques and treatments for a wide variety of gastroenterological conditions.  We also offer a full range of diagnostic procedures, as well as medical, surgical and minimally invasive treatment options to meet the individual needs of patients with gastroenterological conditions of any kind.  Contact us if you are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that have not yet been addressed by our physicians.

Upper Endoscopy

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (Upper Endoscopy – EGD) is an outpatient procedure that allows the gastroenterologist to look at the upper part of gastrointestinal tract: from the mouth to the small intestine (second portion of duodenum).

The team at Gastroenterology Associates understands the apprehension many patients experience when they are told they need to undergo an upper endoscopy.  However, we have put into place a process that makes the experience as comfortable and stress free as possible.  We provide you with a soothing environment at one of our ambulatory care facilities facility fully accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).

We believe our patients deserve the best, and when you see an AAAHC certificate of accreditation, it means that the organization has closely examined our affiliated facilities and procedure practices.  It means we care enough about our patients to strive for the highest level of care possible and only work within an AAAHC center.

You will be given full individualized instructions on your endoscopic procedure prior to your appointment.  Be sure to call us if you have any further questions or concerns prior to the appointment.  Once you arrive, you’ll receive personalized care from our staff, which are willing to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

The Upper GI Endoscopy procedure itself is described below:

After putting the patient under moderate sedation, a long and flexible tube (about the diameter of a finger) that carries a camera, will be sent through the digestive system and the doctor will be able to see the images on their computer screen. This procedure has to be done by a gastroenterologist in an outpatient surgical center or hospital and takes about 20-30 minutes.

There is wide range of indications for doing EGD:

  • Accurate evaluation and investigation of upper GI symptoms especially if other diagnostic tools did not reveal a cause for the symptoms. Many patients are categorized in this group (eg: GERD, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, etc).
  • Diagnostic purposes. Diagnostic testing may reveal a need to have a biopsy from an ulcer, polyp or mass. A patient has been diagnosed with anemia and may need the testing to reveal a source for anemia.
  • Screening for patients with a history of cancer or per-cancerous conditions (Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal cancer, stomach ulcer)
  • Therapeutic purposes (eg: banding of bleeding varices, dilation of narrowing ring, removal of foreign substance).

It is important that the upper GI tract be flushed and empty prior to having procedure done. Please click here for EGD preparation instructions.

Patient must fast for 4-6 hours prior to the procedure. Always discuss your current medications with the gastroenterologist and do not stop any medications unless instructed to do so by the doctor. Do not stop taking your blood thinners until the gastroenterologist gives you instructions to do so (usually 5 days prior to the procedure).  The patient must have an adult to drive them home as they may still be under the influence of anesthesia after the procedure.

Before any EGD, the patient’s full health history will be reviewed. Several tests will be performed, including a blood test and EKG. Daily medication will be reviewed and there may be changes to the medications.  All patients must sign a consent form before undergoing an EGD.

On the day of the EGD, the patient should arrive one hour ahead of the procedure time. After filling out paperwork, the patient will be asked to change into a hospital gown. Dentures should be removed before the procedure. An IV line (needle will be placed in vein) will be inserted, so medication can be delivered intravenously.  During the procedure, all vitals (blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate) will be monitored. A sedative /narcotic may be given so the patient can relax during the procedure.  The patient is placed on their left side. A plastic mouth guard is placed in the mouth to prevent damage to the teeth during the procedure. The endoscope (flexible tube that is equipped with a light and camera at the end) will be inserted into the mouth and guided by the gastroenterologist. Images will appear on the doctor’s computer screen as he moves the scope throughout the tract. If a polyp is found during the procedure, the doctor may remove it to send for pathology testing.

After the endoscopy the patient will be taken to a recovery room. We would like the patient to relax for the rest of the day.

It is normal to have some temporary, mild and uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, sore throat or cramping. Patient should contact their doctor if they experience severe continuous abdominal pain, distended abdomen without any change, continuous vomiting, black stool, shortness of breath or fever. Like most procedures there are rare but serious complications. If the patient experiences food aspiration (food becomes lodged in the throat or lung), perforation, infection, bleeding at site of biopsy or polyp removal or reaction to sedative they should contact their doctor immediately. The doctor should review the results with the patient within 2 weeks.

Our center utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach to your healthcare, which means that patients benefit from the combined expertise of physicians who have the knowledge, perspective and experience to address all aspects of your complete gastroenterological care.

We offer the most advanced diagnostic techniques and treatments for a wide variety of gastroenterological conditions.  We also offer a full range of diagnostic procedures, as well as medical, surgical and minimally invasive treatment options to meet the individual needs of patients with gastroenterological conditions of any kind. Contact us if you are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that have not yet been addressed by our physicians.

Small Bowel Wireless Capsule
EsoPil

We offer a full range of diagnostic procedures, as well as medical, surgical and minimally invasive treatment options to meet the individual needs of patients with gastroenterological conditions of any kind.  We are excited and proud to add to that list one of the latest and most advanced tools, the capsule endoscopy.

Small Bowel Wireless Capsule is a minimally invasive procedure for evaluation of the small intestine. There are many names for it: Wireless Capsule Endoscopy (WCE), Video Capsule Endoscopy (VCE), small bowel endoscopy, capsule enteroscopy. It is a very simple and logical process. The patient swallows a vitamin size capsule which carries a camera inside. When capsule passes through the gastrointestinal system, it takes picture after picture (about 60,000 high-quality, color pictures). The capsule can detect lesions less than 0.1mm. These pictures will be transferred to a receiver that is worn on a belt around the waist. The camera usually works for 8-12 hours. The pictures have excellent resolution especially if you follow the preparation and procedure rules. Later all the pictures will be downloaded to your doctor’s computer for analysis.  The capsule will be passed with a bowel movement within a few days. The camera can be flushed so there is no need to fish for it. If you expel the camera in less than 8 hours or do not see it at all after two weeks, please call the doctor’s office.

The human digestive system is a long tube, from mouth to anus. There are two procedures that help the doctor to see this long tube, endoscopy and colonoscopy. An endoscopy covers the mouth to the small intestine while a colonoscopy covers the large intestine. There is a part of small intestine that cannot be seen by these two techniques. WCE is perfect method to visualize this area not seen by colonoscopy and endoscopy.

Here are several indications you may need to have WCE:

  • Occult gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis (UC)
  • Cancer, tumors and polyps located in the small intestine
  • Celiac disease
  • There are more indications for WCE: chronic abdominal pain, anemia without any finding after endoscopy and colonoscopy and unexplained weight loss.

The procedure is very simple and does not require any anesthesia or sedation. No radiation is involved. It is done while you are going through your daily activity. Patients have to be on a liquid diet 24 hours prior to the test. To ensure that the camera gets the best pictures, patients may have nothing by mouth the morning of the procedure. Do not eat anything for 4 hours after swallowing the capsule. Patient may have liquids after the first 4 hours. Review your medications with your physician prior to having the procedure. Most of the time you are allowed to take insulin and blood pressure pills. Avoid heavy exercise and high level activities for the duration of the WCE test (8 hours). Avoid MRI machines or any high magnetic field devices.

The patient is to come in fasting on the day of the procedure. The receiver will be connected to the waist by a belt. The capsule is the size of a vitamin and will be swallowed with a glass of water. Patient can resume their daily routine and come back in 8 hours to deliver the receiver. During the first 4-6 hours no eating is allowed, but patients may have liquids. The doctor should have results and review with patient in 2 weeks.

If vomiting, severe abdominal pain or passing the capsule in less than 8 hours occurs then contact the doctor.

Like other procedures, CWE has complications that are very rare. The most important one is retention of the capsule. If that were to occur, a radiographic picture would be taken to determine if it is still lodged.

This procedure is safe for everyone including pregnant women and children who are able to swallow the pill. WCE cannot be done for people with swallowing disorders, small bowel obstruction or stenosis.

Our center utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach to your healthcare, which means that patients benefit from the combined expertise of physicians who have the knowledge, perspective and experience to address all aspects of your complete gastroenterological care.

If you have questions or concerns regarding gastroenterological conditions of any kind, or if you are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that have not yet been addressed by our physicians, Contact Us to make an appointment or discuss your symptoms.

Smart Pill GI Mobility
060626_smart_pill_02

Our center utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach to your healthcare, which means that patients benefit from the combined expertise of physicians who have the knowledge, perspective and experience to address all aspects of your complete gastroenterological care.

We also offer the most advanced diagnostic techniques and treatments for a wide variety of gastroenterological conditions, and are one of only a handful of gastroenterological groups in the Greater Los Angeles are to do so.  One of the latest of those technological diagnostic advancements is the SmartPill.  SmartPill offers a convenient way to measure important information related to GI symptoms. SmartPill does not take pictures, but measures the amount of time that it takes to move food through the entire GI tract, which assists the gastroenterologists in evaluating the function of the gastrointestinal system.

SmartPill is a disposable capsule that the patient swallows at their doctor’s office. The capsule travels through the GI tract and wirelessly transmits data about the GI tract to a recorder worn on a belt clip or lanyard. The data collected by SmartPill allows physician to evaluate the entire GI tract without using radiation. Because SmartPill does not require sedation, after swallowing capsule, patients are able to resume most of their daily activities.

Data collected by SmartPill allows physician to determine if and how the symptoms are related to conditions such as chronic constipation, gastroparesis (a condition in which the contents of the stomach empty too slowly) and malabsorption.

Useful points to know before the test:

  • No food for 6 hours after swallowing the pill and avoid alcohol during the test.
  • Do not take medications that affect gastrointestinal motility (eg: laxative, bowel cathartics, anti-diarrhea pills…).
  • Avoid vigorous exercise (sits-up, abdominal crunches, prolonged aerobic activity more than 15 minutes etc.).
  • Diabetic patients take ½ of morning insulin on the first day of testing (unless otherwise instructed by your doctor) but after that, the patient can follow a personalized treatment during the test. Prior to the test, patients should talk with their physician about their routine medications, including pain medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, antispasmodics and promotility medications. Some medications will not affect the test and may be continued as per physician’s instructions. These include medications for heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • The data receiver features an “Event” button. Press the “Event” button when there is a bowel movement and record the date and time of the event in the diary paper. The patient may be asked to record other events such as getting up in the morning, sleeping, meal times, bowel movements and other various activities.

The procedure takes about 3-5 days (to be decided by physician).

The day before the test:

This test requires an overnight fast beginning at midnight and will continue upon wakening. The patient should not smoke or drink anything the day of the test. Diabetic patients should take ½ of their recommended morning insulin on the day of test (unless instructed otherwise by doctor) and resume recommended treatment as instructed by physician.

Day 1

SmartPill measures the amount of time it takes for food in the stomach to empty, therefore, when the patient arrives at office they will be provided with a SmartBar meal to eat prior to swallowing the SmartPill capsule.

The SmartBar is a meal replacement (similar to a granola bar) which is eaten just prior to swallowing the capsule. Its specific nutritional make-up and caloric content are important for a valid test result. After eating the SmartBar, patient will be given the SmartPill receiver that records data and will be wirelessly transmitted from the SmartPill capsule. While low in gluten, the SmartBar is not gluten-free.  Patient should not have any food for 6 hours after beginning the test. Patient may have small quantities of water (no more than one half cup) during that 6 hour period. This recorder should remain within two feet of the patient during the entire test and can be worn on a belt clip or lanyard for optimal mobility (you cannot lay on it).

After swallowing the capsule (size is 26 mm x 13 mm, slightly larger than a multi-vitamin), the patient will be able to resume most of their normal routine but should avoid vigorous exercise. Patient should not feel any pain or discomfort when swallowing the capsule or while the capsule moves through the GI tract. It is naturally passed during a bowel movement, usually within a few days.

Day 2-5

Throughout the test, the recorder should be worn at all times except when showering and sleeping. The recorder should be kept within two feet of the body to ensure that all data are being transmitted and collected from the SmartPill capsule.

Once the SmartPill has passed with a bowel movement, patient will return to the physician’s office and the data will be downloaded from the recorder.

Once the data has been downloaded, the physician will analyze and interpret the results. Physician will discuss the test results with patient within 2 weeks.

Patient should not experience any side effects related to the SmartPill motility monitoring test. The capsule passes with a regular bowel movement within a few days (do not to look for it; sometimes it passes without any notice). SmartPill is not approved for children under the age of 18 years.

Should the patient experience any unusual symptoms they should consult their physician immediately.

Do not undergo an MRI until capsule passage is confirmed by your physician. SmartPill is safe for pregnant and women who are breast feeding.

Gastroenterology Associates also offers a full range of diagnostic procedures, as well as medical, surgical and minimally invasive treatment options to meet the individual needs of patients with gastroenterological conditions of any kind.  Contact us if you are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that have not yet been addressed by our physicians.

Hydrogen Breath Test
Hydrogen Breath Tests

Gastroenterology Associates offers some of the most advanced diagnostic techniques and treatments for a wide variety of gastroenterological conditions which includes Hydrogen Breath Testing.  One of the first gastroenterology groups in Los Angeles to offer this advanced testing, we have found amazing results that are extremely helpful in diagnosing patients with vague and unexplained symptoms; some that have been experienced for years.  The various breath tests we offer are described below:

 

Lactulose Breath Test

All humans carry some bacteria in intestine. Sometimes the population of these bacteria is more than normal (small intestine bacterial overgrowth-SIBO) so it gives patients various symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea, or constipation.

The bacteria in the small bowel ferments carbohydrates and produces gases, which can explain feeling bloated.

A simple breath test can help to diagnose SIBO. A patient needs to follow a few rules before the test (please click here to see the preparation form):

  • No antibiotics and/or probiotics 14 days before the test. Patients can take other medications, such as diabetes and high blood pressure medications.
  • No acid suppression medication (Dexilant, Omeprazole…) 1 day before test
  • Fasting for 12 hours before test. Brushing teeth the morning of the test is allowed.
  • No colonoscopy 30 days before test
  • Diet for the 12 hours before fasting: No fruits and fruit juices, vegetables, grain products, dairy products, artificial sweeteners and sugar, nuts and seeds, soy products, margarine and red meat.
  • It is better only have these for last 12 hours before fasting: baked poultry or fish, plain steamed rice, broth and boil eggs
  • No smoking the last 24 hours before test
  • No vigorous exercise or sleep one hour before test

The day of the test, patients come in fasting condition. First, there will be a blowing in a bag and then patients are offered to drink a solution. Each 10 minutes for 2 hours, patients have to blow in an empty bag. This test takes about 2 hours. Patients can bring a book or magazine to read. The result will be discussed with the patient in 2 weeks.

 

Urease Breath Test

The human stomach is naturally free of any bacteria or germs due to a highly acidic environment, but Helicobacter pylori is one of the strong bacteria that can live in the stomach. H. pylori can cause symptoms such as epigastric pain or upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, frequent belching, and weight loss. If it is not treated, multiple adverse events can occur such as peptic ulcer, gastritis and lead to a predisposition for stomach cancer. Due to the risk of this type of infection if left untreated, it is important to treat the condition promptly.

H. Pylori can be transmitted through direct contact with saliva, vomit or fecal matter of a patient or it can be transmitted through infected food or water. If somebody at home has a H. pylori infection, there is an increased chance that other members can contract the bacteria.

One of the best ways to diagnose H. Pylori infection is with a breath test. It is simple, noninvasive and fast with a higher accuracy than a stool or blood test.

Patient needs to follow some rules before the test (please click here to see the preparation form):

  • No antacid pills (Dexilant, Nexium, Prevacid OTC, Protonix…)
  • No H2 blockers (Zantac, Pepcid, Axid…)
  • No bismuth preparation (pepto-bismul, Maalox total relief…)
  • Fast for one hour before test

After coming to the office in fasting condition (for one hour before test), the patient will be asked to blow in an empty bag. Then, a special solution will be offered to drink. 10 minutes after drinking the solution, the patient has to blow in an empty bag again. The air in the bag will be analyzed.

 

Lactose Intolerance Breath Test

If a patient has diarrhea that occurs frequently after consuming milk or milk products, there is possibility of lactose intolerance. It means the body does not have the proper enzyme to digest the sugar component of milk. Gastroenterology Associates helps to confirm if lactose intolerance is the culprit of the diarrhea with a Lactose Intolerance Breath Test.

The procedure is very simple:

After drinking a lactose containing beverages, patient will blow into the paper bag. The milk sugar is supposed to be digested by the body. If not, the bacteria in the small intestine will be fermented and produce hydrogen gas. It will be shown as a positive result in the patient’s breath test.

 

Fructose Intolerance Breath Test

Patients with frequent bloating, cramping and diarrhea after taking food containing fructose (a form of sugar) may be fructose Intolerant.  In order to confirm this diagnosis, Gastroenterology Associates has the ability to perform a Fructose Intolerance Breath Test while you are here in our office.

This test will confirm the patient’s inability to digest “Fructose,” which is the sugar found in onions, artichokes, pears and wheat. It also can be found in many drinks.

The procedure is very simple:

At the beginning of the test, the patient has to blow into a bag and then the patient will have a glass of a fructose containing beverage. The patient will have to wait for one hour and blow into the paper bag once again. This procedure has to be repeated additional two times. The entire test takes about 3 hours.

Our center utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach to your healthcare, which means that patients benefit from the combined expertise of physicians who have the knowledge, perspective and experience to address all aspects of your complete gastroenterological care.

We also offer a full range of diagnostic procedures, as well as medical, surgical and minimally invasive treatment options to meet the individual needs of patients with gastroenterological conditions of any kind.  Contact us if you are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that have not yet been addressed by our physicians.

Capsule Endoscopy (Eso Pill)

One of the latest technologies used by Gastroenterology Associates is the Capsule Endoscopy, also known as an Eso Pill or one of many other names: Wireless Capsule Endoscopy (WCE), Video Capsule Endoscopy (VCE), small bowel endoscopy, capsule enteroscopy.

The Capsule Endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure for evaluation of the small intestine.  It is a very simple and logical process:  1) the patient swallows a vitamin size capsule which houses a tiny camera inside; 2) as the capsule passes through the gastrointestinal system, it takes picture after picture (about 60,000 high quality color pictures).  The accuracy of capsule in detecting lesions is less than 0.1 mm. The pictures will be transferred to a receiver that is worn on a belt around the waist of the patient.   The camera usually works for 8-12 hours. The pictures have excellent resolution, especially if the patient follows the preparation and procedure rules; 3) all the pictures will be downloaded to the physician’s computer where they can review and analyze them; 4) the capsule will be passed by bowel movement in few days.  There is no need to collect it, as it is not needed, and it can be safely flushed down the toilet.  If you expel the camera in less than 8 hours, or you do not see it at all after two weeks, call the physician’s office.

The human digestive system is a long tube that runs from the mouth to the anus. An endoscopy and a colonoscopy are the two main diagnostic procedures that allow gastroenterologists to see throughout this tube. An endoscopy view covers from the mouth to the small intestine, and a colonoscopy, covers the entire large intestine. However, there is a part of small intestine that cannot be visualized by either of these two procedures.  A capsule endoscopy does cover this area, and is a perfect method to complete a full viewing of the human digestive system.

A Capsule Endoscopy can uncover many conditions, however, the most common ones are:

  • Occult gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis (UC)
  • Cancer, tumors and polyps with the location in small intestine
  • Celiac disease
  • Chronic abdominal pain
  • Anemia without any finding after endoscopy and colonoscopy, and unexplained weight loss….

The capsule endoscopy is a wonderful diagnostic tool, as the patient does not need any anesthesia or sedation, and no radiation is involved. The capsule does its work while you are going through your daily routine. The patient needs to be on liquid diet 24 hours before the test begins.   Nothing must be taken by mouth the morning of procedure so the camera can take clear pictures. Do not eat anything for 4 hours after swallowing capsule. You may have something liquid after 4 hours. Check with your physician about any daily medications, and if you should take them during this procedure.  Usually patients are allowed to take insulin and blood pressure pills. Avoid heavy exercise and tremendous high level activities for the 8 hours of WCE test. Avoid having any testing via an MRI machine or any high magnetic field.

The day of procedure patient comes to doctor office in fasting condition. The receiver will be connected to waist by a belt. The capsule-in the size of vitamin pills- will be swallowed by a glass of water. Patient then leaves and goes about their routine daily functions.  After approximately 8 hours, the patient returns to deliver the receiver. During the first 4-6 hours, no eating or drinking is allowed.  After that time period, the patient can have a clear liquid. Following the diet instructions is very important so that the physician has a clear picture.  Usually within 2 weeks the test results are finalized, and doctor will contact the patient with these results.

If the patient notices one of the following symptoms: vomiting, severe abdominal pain or passing of the capsule in less than 8 hours, the physician needs to be notified.

Complications from a capsule endoscopy are very rare.  The one that should be reported immediately is the retention of the capsule after two weeks.

This procedure is safe to perform during pregnancy, and with children who are able to swallow the camera pill. A capsule endoscopy cannot be performed on people with swallowing disorders, small bowel obstructions, or stenosis.

Our center utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach to your healthcare, which means that patients benefit from the combined expertise of physicians who have the knowledge, perspective and experience to address all aspects of your complete gastroenterological care.

We offer the most advanced diagnostic techniques and treatments for a wide variety of gastroenterological conditions, including the Capsule Endoscopy.  We also offer a full range of diagnostic procedures, as well as medical, surgical and minimally invasive treatment options to meet the individual needs of patients with gastroenterological conditions of any kind.  Contact us if you are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that have not yet been addressed by our physicians.

Abdominal Imaging
Adominal Imaging

Our center utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach to your healthcare, which means that patients benefit from the combined expertise of physicians who have the knowledge, perspective, and experience to address all aspects of your complete gastroenterological care.  We offer the most advanced diagnostic tools and techniques for a wide variety of gastroenterological conditions.  We also offer a full range of diagnostic procedures, including the convenience of in-house abdominal imaging.

Of all the diagnostic imaging modalities (US, MRI, CT) available, ultrasound is normally the first procedure used due to ease in availability and low expense compared to the other diagnostics.  Ultrasound is non-invasive and can be repeated immediately if necessary.  It is an excellent way to visualize soft organs (liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen and kidneys) as well as blood vessels.

Ultrasounds work by using high frequency waves to create images from the abdominal organs. It is very safe and accurate and there is no radiation involved.

An abdominal ultrasound can uncover many of the following conditions:

  • Liver disease: ultrasound can uncover a simple liver cyst to liver tumors; determine the size of the liver, and the texture of the tissue (fatty liver, cirrhosis, hemangiomas)
  • Gall bladder: ultrasound can uncover a stone (gall stone) or stricture; determine the thickness of the gallbladder wall, show any inflammation (Cholecystitis), and size of the organ
  • Intra and extra hepatic bile ducts: ultrasound can determine the diameter and anatomic location of the ducts, and also determine if there are any strictures, stones, or dilation
  • Kidney: ultrasound can show the size and shape of the kidneys, any sign of infections, tumors, or cysts. It can provide detailed information such as the size, number, and locations of any cysts and tumors.
  • Other organs can be visualized by ultrasound: the spleen (size, shape), any abnormal fluid retention in belly (ascites), aorta and large veins.

Gastroenterology Associates strives to meet the individual needs of patients with gastroenterological conditions of any kind.   Contact us if you are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that have not yet been addressed by our physicians.