The GW Digestive Disorder Center offers the diagnosis and treatment for disorders of all gastroenterological organs including the esophagus, stomach, small bowel, colon, gall bladder, liver and pancreas. The physician staff includes national and international authorities who treat:
- Barrett's disease
- Biliary cancer
- Biliary tract disease (gall stones)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease)
- Liver Cancer (The GW Liver and Pancreas Institute for Quality (LPIQ))
- Liver disease
Endoscopy Center at the GW Digestive Disorder Center
Endoscopy refers to the process of looking inside an organ with an endoscope, a flexible tube with a light and an optical system. The GW Digestive Disorder Center has a comprehensive endoscopy unit with advanced endoscopic equipment, including a photodynamic laser that can be used to diagnose and treat disorders of the entire intestinal tract. Many endoscopic procedures are non-invasive or require only small incisions, which results in faster recoveries and shorter hospital stays.
- High-Resolution Esophageal Manometry: Manometry records pressures within the esophagus to see if the esophagus is contracting and relaxing properly. This test helps diagnose many swallowing problems and is a key part of the evaluation prior to surgery for gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD). The GW Digestive Disorder Center uses the ManoScan360TM, which allows an average esophageal study to be completed in 10 minutes or less.
- Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS): Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) combines endoscopy and ultrasound to obtain images and information about the digestive tract and surrounding tissue and organs. EUS can show early phases of fibrosis, developing gallstones, or changes in the pancreatic or biliary duct system. EUS can also identify pancreatic tumors and metastatic cancer in the liver and surrounding areas. The George Washington University Hospital offers EUS using Pentax Endoscopic Ultrasound, a leading-edge system that provides high quality imaging.
- BÂRRX procedure (Radiofrequency Ablation): This new endoscopic technique is used to treat patients with Barrett's esophagus. The GW Digestive Disorder Center uses the HALO360 and the HALO90 Systems, which ablate the affected Barrett's tissue in a brief, safe and effective procedure.
- Biliary endoscopy: This procedure allows doctors to examine the bile ducts to remove gallstones, open obstructed bile ducts and obtain biopsies of suspicious areas. Using the SpyGlass® System, a leading-edge diagnostic tool for gallbladder and liver diseases, a single physician can operate the endoscope and make a definitive diagnosis in one procedure.
- Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): ERCP combines the use of an endoscope with X-ray pictures to examine the tubes that drain the liver, gallbladder and pancreas. ERCP can help a doctor make a diagnosis, remove a gallstone, widen or support a bile duct with a stent, or take a sample of tissue or fluid for laboratory analysis. The endoscopy suite uses the new OEC 9900 Elite C-Arm for ERCP and the placement of GI stents. This technology offers a dramatic improvement in image clarity and the ability to interface with the PACS radiology system.
- Choledochoscopy: This ERCP procedure uses a second scope to get a better view of and access to the biliary ducts for diagnosing and treating biliary colic and acute cholecystitis (a gallbladder infection), and to check for gallstone obstruction. Biliary colic often leads to acute cholecystitis, often requiring gallbladder removal.