Jefferson Regional Medical Center provides comprehensive gastrointestinal (GI) services with a dedicated and highly experienced team of physicians, both gastroenterologists and general surgeons, who utilize the most up-to-date diagnostic tools and techniques.
GI screenings and other diagnostic capabilities are available in the GI Lab on the main campus of the hospital. These include upper and lower GI endoscopy with treatment and diagnosis available for gastroesophageal reflux disease, Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal cancer, colon cancer and much more.
Upper GI Endoscopy (EGD)
EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) examination of the upper GI involves passing an endoscope, a long, flexible black tube with a light and video camera, through the patient’s mouth to examine the esophagus, stomach and often the first part of the small intestine called the duodenum. Biopsies (taking small pieces of tissue) of any abnormality may also be done directly through the endoscope during the procedure, ulcers may be treated and any bleeding may be stopped. The procedure usually causes little or no discomfort. The patient is either lightly sedated or put under general anesthesia for the procedure. Talk to your physician to determine which method will be best for you.
Lower GI Endoscopy (Colonscopy)
Colonoscopies are used to detect problems in the large intestine, and are the primary means of diagnosing colon cancer. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. when numbers for both men and women are combined. Colonoscopy is one of the most important tools for colon cancer screening. Many people with colon cancer show no symptoms until the cancer has grown or spread. That’s why regular screenings should begin at age 50 or age 40 if there is a family history of the disease.
During the screening, a flexible scope is passed through the rectum to allow the physician to have direct visualization of the colon. The physician is able to view the patient’s colon, obtain biopsies and remove potentially cancerous polyps.
A screening colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure, which is brief and usually causes little if any discomfort. The patient is either lightly sedated or put under general anesthesia for the procedure. Talk to your physician to determine which method will be best for you. A day before the colonoscopy you will start a clear liquid diet and begin drinking liquid laxatives to completely clean out the colon.
Patients receive specialized gastrointestinal care in this department, and JRMC is now utilizing updated imaging systems and scopes for many tests. In addition to EGD and colonoscopy physicians also perform the Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography (ERCP) a diagnostic procedure that examines diseases of the liver, bile ducts and pancreas.
One of the newest procedures being conducted in the GI Lab is Bravo pH Monitoring, a minimally invasive procedure for identifying reflux disease. Using a local anesthetic, the physician will place a capsule about the size of a gelcap into the esophagus, where it will temporarily attach itself. The patient is given a small recorder to wear on the waistband for the next few days. Information is transmitted from the capsule to the recorder, and after the test is complete, the capsule will pass naturally through the digestive tract.
Another new GI procedure is the gastric balloon procedure, which is a limited weight loss solution for people who are 30-40 pounds overweight. A small balloon is inserted in the stomach and inflated, reducing the patient’s ability to consume food. Removing the balloon is quick and easy, and those who have the procedure also receive nutrition counseling and a membership to the JRMC Wellness Center.
Outpatient Operating Rooms
This area is used for patients whose surgical needs are not as serious as those of individuals who are being admitted to the hospital. More and more procedures are being performed on an outpatient basis these days, utilizing most of the same technology being used in JRMC’s outpatient operating room.
Same Day Surgery Unit
This area provides pre- and post-care for surgical patients, preparing them for procedures and coordinating discharge instructions for outpatient procedures.
Patients who have received anesthesia will be cared for by nurses who have specialized in post-surgical care. Patients will be closely monitored until they are ready to safely return home or to their hospital room, depending on the type of procedure they have undergone.
Pre-Admission Testing (PAT).
PAT allows patients to complete their pre-surgical testing in advance, saving time on the day of the procedure. Tests may include EKG, blood pressure, blood work and chest X-rays.