Endoscopy is the medical practice of viewing the inside of the human body using instruments. At Wilmington Gastroenterology Associates, our board certified and fellowship trained physicians perform these examinations on a daily basis. Anesthesia with propofol allows these procedures to be performed in a painless fashion. Most of these procedures are performed at our state-of-the-art Endoscopy Center on Oleander Drive; some procedures can only be done at the hospital.
We utilize flexible fiberoptic instruments attached to computers to generate images on a monitor viewed by the doctor. The fiber optic instruments or scopes allow the collection of specimens from inside the body (biopsy) and the removal of small growths (polypectomy) if necessary. Some endoscopes allow ultrasound images to be viewed of structures inside the digestive tract. Other scopes are designed to allow the insertion of stents or tubes into the body to relieve obstruction.
Colonoscopy involves the insertion of a flexible tube through the anus into the colon.
EGD or upper endoscopy involves the insertion of a flexible tube through the mouth and into the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.
ERCP involves the insertion of a flexible tube through the mouth into the esophagus and stomach and into the duodenum where dye is injected into the bile ducts of the liver and into the pancreas ducts. Sometimes gallstones can be removed from the bile ducts using ERCP.
EUS or Endoscopic Ultrasound involves the insertion of a flexible tube through the mouth into the digestive tract to obtain ultrasound images of internal structures. Sometimes specimens can be obtained from lymph nodes or internal organs with ultrasound assistance. EUS can be used as a diagnostic test for bile duct cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, gallbladder dysfunction, pancreatitis and gastric lesions.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy involves the insertion of a flexible tube through the anus into the lower colon (sigmoid).
The Endoscopy Center at Wilmington Gastroenterology Associates is approved by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and licensed by Medicare and the North Carolina Facility Services. Typically procedures can be performed at a lower cost compared to other surgical centers or hospital settings. We strive to provide the highest quality of care and have numerous ongoing quality improvement programs that have been in place for more than 10 years.