Overview of Diagnostic Testing for Digestive Conditions
If you're experiencing digestive issues, the first step is to find the cause of your symptoms. Baylor Scott & White Health offers several diagnostic procedures to help identify digestive concerns and guide your treatment plan.
Diagnostic testing may include:
Colorectal cancer is extremely preventable if polyps that lead to the cancer are detected and removed in its early stages. Since there are very few symptoms associated, regular screening is essential. A colonoscopy is the best way to look for colon growths, but it is not right for everyone. Your provider can help determine the best options and frequency for your individualized situation.
Find Out What to Expect During a Colonoscopy
Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)
Sometimes other tests are not able to provide enough detail to diagnose diseases of the digestive tract and surrounding organs. Your provider may refer you for an endoscopic ultrasound, or EUS, to diagnose, evaluate or treat digestive tract conditions.
Using endoscopic ultrasound, physicians can now see beyond the inside surface of the digestive tract in more detail and can make highly accurate images of organs that lie next to the digestive tract such as the heart, lungs, liver, spleen, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and prostate gland.
Find Out What to Expect During an Endoscopic Ultrasound
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
A specialized endoscopy technique to help visualize and study the ducts (drainage tubes) of the gallbladder, bile ducts, pancreas and liver. An endoscope (a flexible thin tube that allows the physician to see inside the digestive tract) is passed through the mouth into the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).
The opening called the major ampulla that drains both the bile and pancreatic ducts is then identified and a small catheter (narrow plastic tube) is passed through the endoscope into the ducts. Contrast material is then injected into the ducts and X-ray images can be viewed and studied for abnormalities.
Find Out What to Expect During ERCP
Esophageal manometry allows physicians to measure the strength and function of muscles in the esophagus and diagnose conditions that cause gastroesophageal reflux disease and swallowing disorders.
Liver biopsy is a procedure in which a doctor uses a special needle to remove a small piece of liver so it can be examined with a microscope. This is done to check for signs of damage or to diagnose the cause of liver damage.
Find Out What to Expect During Liver Biopsy
A paracentesis is a procedure to take out fluid that has collected in the belly, called ascites. The fluid is taken out using a thin needle. The fluid is sent to a lab and studied to find the cause of fluid buildup. Paracentesis also may be done to take the fluid out to relieve belly pressure or pain in people with cancer or cirrhosis of the liver.
Find Out What to Expect During Paracentesis