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The Endoscopy Lab at Vanderbilt Digestive Disease Center offers a wide range of procedures. Several faculty members have active research interests and clinical studies involving these procedures.
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatograpy (ERCP): ERCP is a technique for examining the bile duct and/or pancreas. ERCP combines endoscopy and X-ray technology. Many patients undergo ERCP to remove common bile duct stones. ERCP also allows stents (supportive tubes) to treat blockages in the bile duct and/or pancreas. We also offer cholangiopancreatoscopy, wherein a a small camera is inserted into the bile duct and/or pancreas; and electrohydraulic lithotripsy, used for breaking up very large stones.
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS): EUS allows ultrasound imaging from inside the gut. This is an important technique for finding cancers of the esophagus, stomach, and rectum. EUS also allows doctors to take samples from the stomach, intestine and pancreas. EUS techniques can also drain pancreatic pseudocysts and abdominal fluid collections, often as an alternative to surgery.
Endoluminal stent placement: Endoscopes may be used to place stents in the esophagus, small intestine or colon. Stents are often used to relieve blockages caused by cancer.
Endoscopic treatment for Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer: Barrett’s esophagus is a change in the lining of esophagus. It usually affects people with long-term gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Patients with Barrett’s esophagus are at increased risk for esophageal cancer. Endoscopic techniques including endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) may be used to remove pre-cancerous lesions of the esophagus. In some cases, these techniques can treat early-stage esophageal cancer.
Small bowel enteroscopy: Much of the small intestine cannot be easily reached either by an upper endoscopy or colonoscopy. Specialized endoscopes for deep exams can find bleeding sources or other problems in the small intestine.