Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures in Gastroenterology


There are a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and services which are used to diagnose and treat patients who are suffering from a variety of gastrointestinal disorders. Here are the most common.


This is an exam wherein a tube-like instrument is used to look inside the colon and rectum for abnormal areas, polyps or cancer. Through a biopsy, tissue samples are collected and abnormal growths are removed.

Upper G.I. Endoscopy (EGD)

In this procedure, camera that is attached to a flexible, thin, tube is inserted through the mouth, into the stomach tract and upper small intestine in order to look for ulcers, bleeding, and inflammation.

Balloon Assisted Enteroscopy

In this procedure, the sides of the bowel are inflated by a balloon, allowing an endoscope to penetrate farther into the bowel in order to achieve a visual examination.

Capsule Endoscopy

In this procedure, the patient is required to swallow a capsule that contains a camera so that their digestive tract may be viewed by a series of images captured by the camera. This allows areas which are not easily reachable by other procedures to be examined. The patient normally captures this capsule in their stool.

Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

This procedure uses an endoscope to examine the bile ducts and pancreas visually.

Endoscopic Ultrasound

Here, an endoscope is used for examining the lower and upper gastrointestinal tract. Using ultrasound imaging, detailed pictures are then taken.

Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR)

People who suffer from Barrett’s Disease are usually recommended to conduct Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR). An endoscope is used in this procedure, along with the injection of a solution which is administered into the stomach or esophagus in order to raise and remove a lesion so that it may be examined.

Liver Biopsy

In this procedure, a needle is used to remove a sample of liver tissue so that it may be examined.


Here, an endoscope is used to examine the lower 20 inches of the colon.

Gastric manometry

In this test, the muscular and electrical activity in the stomach is measured. A thin tube containing a wire is passed down the patient’s throat into their stomach. This wire measures the muscular and electrical activity of the stomach as it digests liquids and foods to show how well the stomach is working and to find out if there are any delays in digestion.

Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)

In this test, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to obtain images of the patient’s bile ducts. The machine uses magnets and radio waves to scan tissues and internal organs.

Capsule endoscopy

A capsule endoscopy is used to assist doctors in examining the small intestine in areas of the bowel that other procedures such as a colonoscopy or an upper endoscopy cannot reach. Through this procedure, polyps, ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, tumours of the small intestine can be detected and causes of bleeding can be identified appropriately and the next steps can be charted out.


In this procedure, an endoscope is used to perform an examination of the inside of the bile duct and pancreas. It is widely used to diagnose and treat of many diseases of the bile ducts, pancreas, gallbladder and liver. During this visual examination, it is common for a doctor to also perform other minor procedures that may benefit the patient, such as removing a small piece of tissue in order to conduct a biopsy.

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