The Gastrointestinal System
A thin flexible tube with a camera is inserted in the mouth to see the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine while the child is under general anesthesia, usually as an outpatient. The test is used to diagnose eosinophilic esophagitis, gastroesophageal reflux, celiac disease, peptic ulcer disease, gastric infections and inflammatory bowel disease. It is also used to look for causes of poor growth, and regurgitation. Small pieces of tissue, about the size of a pinhead, are usually taken for testing under the microscope. Through this approach, the doctor is able to actually see inside the GI tract to determine possible problem areas.
A flexible tube with a camera is used to look into the last part of the intestines (colon and terminal ileum). The test helps to evaluate polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, and other causes of gastrointestinal bleeding. Small tissue samples, the size of a pinhead, are taken. Polyps, which are growths of tissue lining the intestines, may also be removed. The test is done with general anesthesia, usually as an outpatient.
Imaging tests, performed at hospitals or imaging centers, include X-rays (upper GI series, swallowing evaluations), ultrasound, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computerized tomography) and nuclear medicine tests.
Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG)
A PEG is placed using endoscopy, under general anesthesia. This is a delivery system for specialized nutrition when the oral route is not adequate to deliver all of the needed nutrition. A brief hospital stay is usually follows this procedure.
Reflux studies help identify the patterns of how acid and non-acid fluid appears in the esophagus. This helps guide medical treatment for your child.
A liver tissue sample is taken for diagnosing various conditions. Your child will be kept comfortable, with sedation or anesthesia, by a pediatric anesthesiologist. Local numbing agents are also applied at the site. Tenderness after the procedure may be handled with pain medication.
Non-invasive testing, to test for lactose malabsorption, Helicobacter Pylori infection, or small bowel bacterial overgrowth can be performed on an outpatient basis.
A pill with a built-in camera, taking pictures twice per second, is swallowed, and a video of the entirety of the small bowel is produced, allowing full visualization from duodenum to ileum. This allows inspection for polyps, bleeding sites and areas of inflammation, to be identified.