When to See a Gastroenterologist
Talk to your doctor if you experience symptoms such as:
- Trouble swallowing
- Heartburn or acid reflux
- Recurrent stomachaches
- Chronic bloating or constipation
- Diarrhea or excessive gas
- Dark or bloody stool
- Unplanned weight loss
These symptoms could be signs of a serious illness or could lead to other problems. See your doctor as early as possible to help protect your long-term health.
Esophagus & Stomach Care
Your esophagus is the pipe that food passes through on its way to your stomach. To diagnose and treat problems affecting these organs, an AnMed gastroenterologist may order one or more of these procedures.
- Bravo pH test for acid reflux – Attaches a small capsule to your esophagus to measure pH levels in the esophagus over a couple days
- Esophageal manometry – Slides a thin tube into your digestive tract to measure pressure and help a doctor learn the reason for your pain, heartburn or trouble swallowing
- SmartPill motility testing – Uses a capsule that you swallow to measure pressure, pH, temperature and time spent in your digestive tract
- Upper endoscopy – Slides a thin tube with a camera down your esophagus to examine it, your stomach and the first part of the small intestine
- Endoscopic mucosal resection – Removes precancerous tissue so it doesn’t turn into cancer
- Esophageal dilation – Gently widens your food pipe to make swallowing easier
- Feeding tube placement – Lets you receive nutrition directly through your stomach if you can’t swallow
- GI bleeding treatment – Places a clip or uses a special powder or gas to stop bleeding in the digestive tract
- Stent placement – Puts a small tube in part of the digestive tract to keep it open if it’s blocked or narrowed by a tumor
- Varices banding – Wraps dangerously enlarged veins in your esophagus with a rubber band to prevent them from bursting or bleeding
Pancreas & Biliary Tract Care
Your pancreas gland makes enzymes to help your body digest food. The biliary tract includes your liver, gallbladder and bile ducts, which work together to support digestion.
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
Your doctor can use ERCP to both diagnose and treat narrowed or blocked bile and pancreatic ducts. The procedure uses an endoscope (thin tube with a camera), X-ray imaging and a special dye to show these areas of your body. During the procedure, your doctor can:
- Break up or remove gallstones
- Place a stent—a tiny tube that keeps a narrowed duct open
FibroScan Liver Imaging
For FibroScan, you lie on your back as a technologist moves an ultrasound device over your abdomen to look for liver fibrosis (scar tissue). The test results give your doctor valuable information about liver disease.
Bowel & Intestinal Care
Your bowels including the small intestine and large intestine (colon). They break down the food you eat and absorb nutrients.
Procedures at AnMed include:
- Colonoscopy – Inserts a thin tube with a camera into the large intestine to look for and remove polyps (lumps) that could be cancerous
- Enteroscopy – Inserts a thin tube with a camera through the mouth and into the upper digestive tract
- Video capsule endoscopy – Requires you to swallow a pill containing a tiny camera that takes pictures of your intestines and electronically sends the images to your doctor
Talk to Your Doctor
Ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a gastroenterologist. After we receive the referral, we’ll call you to schedule an appointment.