Procedures

What is Endoscopy?

GI endoscopy is the visual examination of the upper intestinal tract (esophagus, stomach, duodenum) and the lower bowel (colon and rectum).  These exams include upper endoscopy (EGD), Colonoscopy and Flexible Sigmoidoscopy.  These exams can usually provide an immediate diagnosis.  These exams are perfomed using a flexible tube wich transmits the image inside the intestinal tract to a TV monitor using computer and fiberoptic technology.  This flexible tube (endoscope) can be directed and moved around the many bends in the GI tract.  There is a tiny, optically sensitive computer chip (camera) on the end.  Electronic signals are transmitted through the scope to a computer which then displays the image on the video screen.  There is an open channel in the scope that allows other instruments to be passed through it in order to take tissue samples, remove polyps and perform other exams.  Because of the state-of-the-art video imaging equipment, it is now possible to make more accurate and timely diagnosises.

At the Santa Maria Digestive Diagnostic Center, staff members have substantial experience in infection control, and all equipment is disinfected or sterilized according to the highest standards for health care facilities.

In order to get a better view of the inside of the intestinal tract, the GI tract needs to be inflated.  Room air is generally used elsewhere, but it can take several hours or even into the next day to pass, either rectally or by belching.  This can frequently lead to abdominal discomfort and bloating.  Here at the Santa Maria Digestive Diagnostic Center, we use the safe gas, carbon dioxide, because it is absorbed very rapidly through the bowel wall into the bloodstream and then expelled through normal breathing.  With the use of carbon dioxide, abdominal discomfort after endoscopy is virtually eliminated.

Certified Resgisterd Nurse Anesthetist

A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) provides intravenous medications for sedation.  With the medication and technique that is used, you retain very little memory of the procedure, yet recovery is exceptionally fast.  The CRNA is continuously and soley responsible for monitoring all vital signs to ensure patient safety, while the doctor with an assistant conduct the exam.