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Gastrointestinal Laboratory Services

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Digestive Health

Gastrointestinal issues, sometimes referred to as “GI” issues, often don’t go away on their own – and can seriously affect your quality of life. However, the physicians in HCH’s GI Lab offer comfort and relief of symptoms and can diagnose digestive and colorectal conditions.

The digestive system is complex and includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts, and liver. GI-related conditions can include, but are not limited to: 

  • Celiac disease
  • Colon cancer
  • Constipation, diarrhea, and loss of bowel control
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Diverticulosis
  • Gallstones
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Nausea and stomach pain
  • Ulcers

Lower Endoscopy Services (Colonoscopy)

This procedure is an imaging test of the rectum and colon to detect abnormalities using a flexible coloscope to provide a clear view of the lower gastrointestinal tract. The physician will gently pass a tube through the patient’s rectum and throughout the colon, taking photos, retrieving samples, and removing abnormal growths if needed. The patient will receive a sedative before and throughout the procedure.   

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, but it shouldn’t be. When colon cancer is found early, it can often be cured. The American Cancer Society recommends screening for colon cancer every ten years, starting at age 45 (earlier for high-risk patients). Colon cancer is preventable, treatable—and beatable. 

Upper Endoscopy Services (EGD)

Physicians may recommend an Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) to help diagnose upper GI conditions. An EGD procedure is similar to a colonoscopy, except a scope is inserted into the patient’s mouth and into their esophagus to examine the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. During the EGD, the physician will take photos and retrieve small tissue samples if needed to aid in determining a diagnosis.  

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