Minimally Invasive Endoscopic Diagnosis and Treatment for Complex
You may have unusual symptoms that lead your primary care provider to suspect that you have a more complex condition affecting your digestive tract. Some rarer gastrointestinal (GI) conditions can’t be diagnosed with routine GI tests, such as upper endoscopy or colonoscopy. In those cases, your gastroenterologist may refer you to an advanced gastroenterologist for a minimally invasive test called endoscopic ultrasound (EUS).
EUS is a cutting-edge and highly specialized test that examines the different layers of the GI tract. The procedure is similar to a routine upper endoscopy. The difference is that during EUS, an advanced gastroenterologist uses flexible tube called an endoscope that’s equipped with a high-definition ultrasound probe to examine the inside of your GI tract.
The ultrasound probe produces detailed images of both the GI tract and digestive organs. EUS often is used to stage cancers of the pancreas, esophagus, stomach, bile ducts, and rectum. The images can help your health care team determine the next steps in your treatment.Advanced Endoscopic Ultrasound Treatment
Virtua gastroenterologists also perform a complex, minimally invasive procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). During ERCP, the insides of the biliary tract and pancreas are examined for conditions such as common bile duct stones, bile duct strictures (narrowing), or a very rare, aggressive bile duct cancer called cholangiocarcinoma.
At Virtua, an advanced procedure called cholangioscopy enables your gastroenterologist to visualize the insides of your bile and pancreatic ducts. In some cases, cholangioscopy provides the ability to diagnose AND treat cancer and other complex biliary tract conditions without the need for surgery.
Conditions treated with advanced ERCP include:
- Bile duct stones
- Biliary strictures
- Cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer)
- Fluid leaks from the bile ducts or pancreatic duct
- Primary sclerosing cholangitis (chronic disease that damages the bile ducts)
EUS and ERCP are minimally invasive procedures that may provide you with diagnostic and treatment benefits including:
- Improved accuracy during biopsies
- Enhanced ability to destroy bile duct stones
- Minimally invasive treatment of tumors, blockages, or narrowing in the bile duct
- Ability to insert stents to avoid the need for surgery
- Single-use ECRP scope for enhanced safety
If you’re experiencing digestive issues or if your primary care physician wants you to consult with an advanced gastrointestinal specialist, you can learn more about gastroenterology care at Virtua by calling 888-847-8823 (888-VIRTUA-3). Or, visit our Gastroenterology page.