Capsule Endoscopy lets your doctor examine the lining of the middle part of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes the three portions of the small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, and ileum). Your doctor will give you a pill sized video camera for you to swallow. This camera has its own light source and takes pictures of your small intestine as it passes through. These pictures are sent to a small recording device you wear on your body. Your doctor will be able to view these pictures at a later time. Currently Medicare will only reimburse the procedure for patients with unexplained gastrointestinal bleeding where panendoscopy and colonoscopy have not shown the source.
Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)
Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS) is a specialised type of panendoscopy which allows your doctor to examine your oesophageal, stomach and duodenal lining as well as other organs that are near the gastrointestinal tract, including the lungs, liver, gall bladder and pancreas. EUS is also used to evaluate known abnormalities, including lumps or lesions, which were detected at a prior endoscopy or were seen on x-ray tests, such as a computed tomography (CT) scan. EUS can be used to diagnose diseases of the pancreas, bile duct and gallbladder when other tests are inconclusive or conflicting. The examination is done under sedation or a light intravenous anaesthetic.
Colonoscopy is a common and very safe procedure that examines the lining of the lower intestinal tract called the colon or large intestine. When used as a colon cancer prevention method, colonoscopy can find potentially precancerous growths called polyps and remove them before they turn into cancer. This explains why colonoscopy is an invaluable tool that helps your doctor answer important questions about your digestive health and prevent certain diseases like colon cancer. The procedure is done under sedation or a light intravenous anaesthetic.
Panendoscopy (also known as Upper Endoscopy or Gastroscopy) lets your doctor examine the lining of the upper part of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum (first portion of the small intestine). The test helps evaluate symptoms of persistent upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or difficulty swallowing. The procedure is done under sedation or a light intravenous anaesthetic.
ERCP is a combined endoscopic and radiologic procedure that enables your doctor to examine the pancreatic and bile ducts. Under deep sedation, an endoscope is placed through your mouth and into your stomach and first part of the small intestine (duodenum). In the duodenum a small opening (ampulla) is identified and a thin plastic tube (cannula) is passed through the endoscope and into this opening. Dye (contrast material) is injected and X-rays are taken to study the bile +/- pancreatic ducts.
ERCP is most commonly performed to diagnose conditions of the pancreas or bile ducts, and is also used to treat those conditions. The most common reasons to do ERCP include jaundice (yellowing of the skin), or an ultrasound or CT scan that shows stones or blockage in the bile duct or a mass in the pancreas.
ERCP may be used before or after gallbladder surgery to assist in the performance of that operation. Bile duct stones can be diagnosed and removed with an ERCP. Tumours, both cancerous and noncancerous, can be biopsied and then treated with stents that are used to open a blockage of the bile duct. Complications from gallbladder surgery can also sometimes be diagnosed and treated with ERCP.
In patients with suspected or known pancreatic disease, ERCP will help determine the need for surgery or the best type of surgical procedure to be performed. Occasionally, pancreatic stones can be removed by ERCP.