In capsule endoscopy, you swallow a small pill that passes painlessly through your digestive tract. On its way, the capsule takes about 50,000 color images sent to a small recording device you wear on a belt.
You return the data recorder to a nurse after about eight hours. The nurse then downloads the images to a computer for a gastroenterologist to see.
This technology helps doctors diagnose conditions such as Crohn's disease and cancer.
EGD (upper endoscopy)
To prepare for esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), or upper endoscopy, you are given medicine that makes you relax. Then, a doctor passes a thin tube with a light and camera into your esophagus, stomach and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). The doctor may take a tiny piece of tissue to examine under a microscope.
Doctors can use this test to find the cause of pain, vomiting, bleeding or trouble swallowing. They may also treat some problems during an EGD.
Before endoscopic ultrasound, a caregiver will give you medicine that makes you sleepy and relaxed. Then, a doctor slides a thin tube with a light and camera through your mouth and into your digestive tract. A tiny ultrasound device in the tube makes gentle sound waves that create pictures of the surrounding tissue and organs.
Before endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), you receive medicine to make you sleepy. Then, a doctor slides a thin tube with a camera and light into your esophagus, stomach and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). The doctor injects a dye that makes parts of your digestive system easier to see on an X-ray machine.
This test helps doctors diagnose conditions of the pancreas, bile ducts, liver and gallbladder. Doctors may perform some treatments at the same time.
For esophageal manometry, a medical professional will numb your nose and then gently slide a tiny tube through it and into your esophagus. Sensors on the tube measure how well esophageal muscles work as you swallow. Doctors can use this exam to diagnose problems related to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other esophageal conditions.
Esophageal pH tests
Esophageal pH tests measure acid in your esophagus. They can help your doctor diagnose GERD or see how well treatment is working. Your doctor may recommend one of the following types of pH tests.
48-hour pH study
A doctor attaches a tiny capsule to the wall of your esophagus during an EGD exam. The capsule sends data about pH levels to a device worn on your waist. After two days, you return the device so your doctor can review the information.
24-hour pH study
A doctor places a tiny tube called a catheter through your nose and into your esophagus. The catheter is taped to your nose so it stays in place for 24 hours. A monitor connected to the catheter measures acid levels and sends the data to a small device that you wear. After a day, you return the device and a medical professional removes the catheter.
During flexible sigmoidoscopy, a doctor slides a thin, lighted tube into the rectum and lower colon to look for bleeding, polyps (lumps) or other signs of medical conditions. This test is like colonoscopy, but is only for the first part of your colon.