The Medical Center has a proactive approach to bringing advanced endoscopy procedures to our community. This approach combined with an innovative spirit ensures quality and comfort for our patients and pinpoint accuracy for our physicians.
Patients are referred to The Medical Center’s endoscopy services for a number of reasons including:
Unexplained anemia or blood loss
The reasons are as varied as the procedures performed in the three state-of-the-art endoscopy operating rooms by the 22 board-certified physicians expertly trained in gastroenterology and pulmonary endoscopy. In support are 24 employees, including four registered nurses certified in gastroenterology.
The Endoscopy department at The Medical Center reminds anyone 50 years or older, or anyone 40 years old with a history of colon cancer in your family, to be screened for colorectal cancer. Call your doctor to discuss screening options at The Medical Center.
The Medical Center
710 Center Street
Columbus, Georgia 31901
Indicative of the state-of-the-art procedures is one that is especially helpful for cancer patients. The Medical Center was the first hospital in the area to place stents in the colon and esophagus to help with swallowing and digestive problems due to cancerous growth. A colonic stent opens the obstructed region and may forego the need for the patient to wear a stoma bag.
The Medical Center is the only hospital using a recording device that measures the level of pH in a child’s esophagus to detect abnormal esophageal acid exposure.
Four other endoscopic studies are also leading the way in innovation:
In the BRAVO pH procedure to study reflux, a small endoscopic capsule is attached to the esophagus and sends radio waves to a receiver the size of a pager.
During the 48-hour study, the capsule sends signals to a receiver documenting the pH level of the esophagus while the patient keeps a diary of when they eat and when they lie down as well as when they get up. After 48 hours, information from the receiver is downloaded onto a computer, and the pH activity is compared to the patient’s diary.
The downloaded information reveals the number of times and duration of reflux episodes within the esophagus.
Prior to BRAVO pH, the 24-hour pH probe required a wire running from the patient’s esophagus out through the nose to the transmitter pack slung over the patient’s shoulder. Now, all that is visible is the BRAVO transmitter.
Esophagus and Rectum
For those patients having difficulty swallowing or those with a colostomy or incontinence, The Medical Center offers the High Resolution Manometry, the study of the muscles, more specifically the coordination and movement of the muscles of the esophagus and the rectum.
The procedure measures pressures at different sites in the body for diagnostic purposes. It is much faster and results in a more thorough diagnosis than previous studies.
What used to take 45 minutes to an hour and a half to complete, now takes only 10 minutes. From the physician’s standpoint, this high-tech approach to manometry provides a real-time display of the muscles, allowing for optimal diagnosis.
Patients suffering from unexplained anemia, blood loss or Crohn’s Disease may benefit from the Small Bowel Capsule. Much like the BRAVO pH study, the endoscopic capsule, which is the size of a vitamin, contains a battery with an eight-hour lifespan, a strong light source, a camera and a small transmitter. While passing through the small intestines, the transmitter sends images of the inside of the esophagus, stomach and small bowel to a receiver worn by the patient.
After eight hours, the patient returns the receiver to the Endoscopy department. The information is then loaded into a computer and saved to a DVD for the physician. The physician is then able to view in detail the images captured as the capsule passes through the digestive tract and reveals obscure sources of previously undiagnosed bleeding, Crohn’s Disease or other diseases.
The Medical Center is the only hospital in this area performing small bowel enteroscopy, which is a complementary endoscopic examination of the small bowel to find a source of chronic bleeding or undiagnosed bleeding after standard study procedures have been performed.
Among the other procedures performed in the Endoscopy unit are:
Colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy to visualize parts of the colon
Liver biopsy to evaluate for liver diseases
Pleuroscopy to obtain biopsy of the outer lung without need for surgery
Feeding tube placement to provide alternative nutrition for individuals who are unable to eat
Thoracentesis to drain excess fluid in the cavity surrounding the lungs.
Esophagogastroduoduodenocopy (EGD) to examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach and upper duodenum
Endoscopic retrograde chalangio-pancreatography (ERCP) to diagnose problems in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and pancreas
Bronchoscopy to view a patient's lung, airways, larynx (voice box), vocal cord and trachea