At TransSouth Health Care, we provide outpatient gastrointestinal procedures including endoscopies and colonoscopies in our on-site DDC Surgery Center.  We are licensed by both the state and with Medicare and are accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc. (AAAHC).  Our full-service gastroenterology center utilizes state-of-the-art technology with advanced techniques to ensure your endoscopy procedure is as seamless as possible.

General information about an Endoscopy

Endoscopies are procedures that allow our gastroenterologist to examine the inside lining of your digestive tract.  An endoscopy procedure is capable with our endoscopes, a flexible fiber optic tube that contains a small camera and light at the end that is used to investigate the cause of your symptoms throughout your upper digestive system.  There are different types of endoscopes including some that take tissue samples, or biopsies, for further testing.

 

Upper Endoscopy

In our upper endoscopy procedures, we pass an endoscope through the mouth, throat, and into the esophagus, allowing our gastroenterologist to view the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of your small intestine.  These procedures and examinations allow us to investigate the origin of your pain through the digestive system, with commonalities being ulcers or chronic heartburn.  Upper endoscopies may also be used to investigate the causes of:

  • stomach bleeding
  • difficulty swallowing
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • frequent heartburn
  • upper abdominal pain

 

In addition to collecting biopsies and investigating the cause of symptoms in the digestive system, an endoscopy is also a powerful way to perform various treatments once those disorders have been diagnosed. An endoscopic tool can be used to treat bleeding, inflammation, and pain by removing the polyp, tumor, or by constricting the blood flow to a painfully engorged blood vessel or vein.

 

What to expect when receiving an upper endoscopy

In our consultation, we will ask you to refrain from eating after midnight on the night before and only clear liquids up to four hours prior to your procedure, as the upper GI tract must be completely empty.  We will ask you to forfeit smoking and chewing gum as well.  We will ask necessary questions related to your health conditions, especially any that are associated with heart and lung problems, allergies, or diabetes.  We will request information on any medications you’re currently taking and likely ask you to temporarily stop taking medications associated with blood clotting or any sedation interactive medications. We’ll ask you not to drive after the procedure to allow sedation to wear off, so you will want to make prearrangements for transportation.

When you arrive, you will receive a conscious sedation that will relax you and make you sleepy, potentially leading you to fall completely asleep.  Our goal is to make you as comfortable as possible.  You will lie on your side during the procedure as our gastroenterologist used a thin, flexible endoscope tool with a camera and light on the tip that will enter through your mouth and proceed down through your digestive tract, as far as your upper small intestine.  The scope has a small camera that transmits video to our high definition monitor, allowing close, high quality examination of your esophagus, stomach and duodenum linings.  We will also insert air though the scope in an effort to inflate your stomach, making it even easier for us to examine everything.

During our examination, we will use special tools that slide through the scope.  These tools will allow our doctor to stop any bleeding, remove abnormal growths, and collect tiny pieces for biopsies.  We want to maximize this endoscopy for your benefit.  These painless biopsies will be medically researched and then reviewed by your doctor.  The results can take several weeks.

The procedure should take less than an hour.  Upon completion of your procedure, we’ll move you to recovery as your sedation wears off.  You may feel a little bloated or nauseated, and burping or passing gas will help alleviate these symptoms.  You may also have a slightly sore throat.  After the recovery process, we will provide discharge instructions and dismiss you as a patient.

 

Esophageal Varices Banding

For people with high pressure in the veins carrying blood from the intestines to the liver, the veins in the digestive tract can become enlarged.  This is called variceal bleeding, which can be quite severe if not treated successfully. The most common cause of variceal bleeding is scarring (cirrhosis) of the liver. The scarring cuts down on blood flow to the liver, which forces the veins in the esophagus to work overtime and enlarge. Eventually, these veins can burst, leaving the inside of your esophagus with painful, heavy bleeding. If the varices are not treated, the results can be deadly.

Esophageal Varices Banding is an endoscopic procedure that treats variceal bleeding. Your gastroenterologist uses an endoscope in an upper endoscopy procedure to place a small rubber vein around an enlarged vein to stop blood flow to the vein. This process may be completed several times to ensure that the bleeding is under control.

 

Peg Tube Placement

What is a PEG Tube?

PEG stands for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, and is commonly referred to as a “feeding tube”. A PEG tube is placed directly into the abdominal area through a small incision. Its purpose is to deposit nutritional material directly into the stomach, effectively bypassing the mouth and esophagus.

 

What to expect during PEG tube placement

Your doctor may instruct you not to eat or drink anything for 8 hours before the procedure. You will be sedated with an IV, which will make you feel sleepy and relaxed. The gastroenterologist will perform an upper endoscopy, sending a special endoscope with a camera and light at the end through your mouth and esophagus and into your stomach, so that they can determine the best place in the stomach lining to make an incision. You will then receive a local anesthetic at the chosen incision spot. After this, the physician will make a small incision and properly insert the PEG tube. The entire procedure should take less than an hour.

 

GERD

What is GERD?

GERD is an acronym for “gastrointestinal reflux disease.” There is a small valve between the esophagus and the stomach. When this valve develops a leak, the acid in your stomach can build up into the delicate lining of your esophagus. If you are experiencing frequent heartburn, you may be suffering from GERD. People often describe this feeling as a rising burning sensation in the chest, particularly after meals. The stomach acid in your esophagus can have long-lasting negative effects that may require extensive healing for your esophagus. You can speak with your gastroenterologist to discuss tests and treatments to reduce the amount of stomach acid backing up into the esophagus.

Diagnosing and Treating GERD

An upper endoscopy may be required to determine the cause of frequent heartburn for a GERD diagnosis. Treating GERD will require several lifestyle changes, including what you eat and drink, your caffeine intake, the size of your meals, managing your overall body weight, quitting smoking, and changing when and how you sleep at night.

Contact us at (844) 296-8853 in Jackson, Tennessee, for further information regarding our endoscopy procedures.