Endoscopy Procedures

Cullman Regional Medical Center Endoscopy Services provides multiple tests and services related to the Gastrointestinal System. In order to help you understand your procedure, we have provided a brief description of the procedures available below.

Colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure in which your large bowel (colon and rectum) is examined. Your doctor may perform the procedure to diagnose and treat, when possible, certain diseases of the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract. A colonoscopy may be use to evaluate many problems, including abdominal pain, anemia (low red blood cells), blood in the stool, change in bowel habits, screen for colon cancer or due to unexplained weight loss.

Esophagogastroduodensoscopy (EGD)
An EGD is an examination of the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and upper duodenum with a small camera (flexible endoscope) which is inserted down the throat.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
Is a routine outpatient procedure in which the inner lining of the lower large intestine is examined. Flexible sigmoidoscopies are commonly used to evaluate gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain, rectal bleeding or changes in bowel habits.

Bronchoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to look at your airway through a thin viewing instrument called a bronchoscope. Bronchoscopy may be done to diagnose problems with the airway, the lungs, or with the lymph nodes in the chest, or to treat problems such as an object or growth in the airway.

Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy™ 
A minimally invasive procedure that uses CT-guided needle biopsy. This procedure allows physicians to navigate and access difficult-to-reach areas of the lung from the inside. The system uses CT scan images to create a roadmap of the thousands of tiny pathways inside the lungs. The LungGPS technology then provides a roadmap that allows physicians to guide tiny tools through the lung pathways so they can take tissue samples of the lesion and place markers for future treatment. 

Bravo® Chip
The Bravo® pH is a catheter free way to measure pH. This is a test for people with chronic heartburn. The results will tell your doctor what is causing your symptoms and what the best treatment for you is. It involves a capsule, about the size of a gel cap. It is temporarily attached to the wall of the esophagus. It transmits readings via a telemetry unit that can be attached to your belt similar to a beeper.

PEG (Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy) Tube
A Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy tube, or PEG tube, is also called a feeding tube. One end of this flexible silicone tube sits inside the stomach and is held in place with a balloon like tip, and the other end is taped to the skin outside. The PEG tube may be used to feed you, or to give you medicine or liquids for a period of time. It does not always have to be permanent or the only source of nutrition.

Esophageal Dilatation
Esophageal dilation is a procedure that allows your doctor to dilate, or stretch, a narrowed area of your esophagus [swallowing tube]. The most common cause of narrowing of the esophagus, or stricture, is scarring of the esophagus from reflux of stomach acid occurring in patients with heartburn. Patients with a narrowed portion of the esophagus often have trouble swallowing; food feels like it is “stuck” in the chest region, causing discomfort or pain.

Variceal Banding or Injection
These procedures are done to prevent esophageal varices from bleeding. Bleeding esophageal varices are life- threatening and must be treated immediately.
  • Variceal banding uses elastic bands to tie off bleeding veins. During variceal ligation, your doctor uses an endoscope to snare the varices and wrap them with an elastic band, which essentially "strangles" the veins so they can't bleed.
  • Variceal Injection injects a solution into bleeding veins. In a procedure called endoscopic injection therapy, the bleeding varices are injected with a solution that shrinks them.
Endoscopic tattooing helps to identify small colonic lesions, especially in laparoscopic surgery.

Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography (ERCP)
An ERCP is a test that combines the use of a flexible, lighted scope (endoscope) with X-ray pictures to examine the tubes that drain the liver, gallbladder and pancreas.

Esophogeal Stents
During an esophageal stent placement procedure, a tiny tube known as a stent is placed at a point of narrowing or blockage to open up the esophagus to help the patient swallow or drink more easily. These tubes are made out of polyester(plastic), nitinol(metal) or hybrid material. Stents may be used to treat patients suffering from a refractory benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) disease.