At the Memorial Health Gastrointestinal Procedures Center, we believe that informed patients make better medical choices and have better overall health. We encourage you and your loved ones to talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns you have before your procedure. The information below may also be helpful, but please note that this information should not replace any instructions from your physician.

Barrett's Esophagus

This condition occurs when cells in the lining of the esophagus morph into abnormal cells.

Colonoscopy

This procedure lets your doctor see directly inside your entire colon using a flexible tube. It can detect intestinal problems such as bleeding or early signs of colorectal cancer.

Bowel Preparation

Before your colonoscopy, you must go through a bowel preparation process to cleanse the colon. Your doctor will prescribe a medication that causes diarrhea to empty all stool from the colon. This is necessary because stool inside the colon may prevent your physician from clearly seeing any abnormalities, such as colon polyps.

Your doctor will prescribe the type of bowel prep that is best for you. In general, you can expect the following:

One week before your colonoscopy, stop taking any fiber supplements.

One week before and one week after the procedure, stop taking any aspirin-containing products or anti-inflammatory products (Motrin, Goody or BC Powders, Aleve, Naproxen), unless otherwise directed by your physician.

48 hours before your procedure, stop eating solid foods. You should only consume clear liquids or coffee or tea with no milk, cream, or sugar. Do not consume red Jell-O, Popsicles, or liquids. During the procedure, these items can look like blood in the colon. Do not consume any alcoholic beverages.

48 hours before your procedure, start your bowel prep as directed by your physician. You may be asked to take a laxative and/or drink a substance that helps empty your bowel. The bowel cleansing agents may cause the following symptoms. Call your physician if you experience problems.

  • Chills – this can be caused if the solution is too cold or if your electrolytes shift.
  • Nausea or vomiting -- stop drinking the solution for a short period and resume when the nausea passes. If nausea and vomiting persist, please notify your physician’s office.
  • Bloating -- walk around to ease the discomfort, but stay near a restroom.

The day before your procedure, continue a liquid diet but DO NOT eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure unless instructed by your physician.

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer occurs when cells grow and divide uncontrollably in the colon or rectum. Left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body.

Diverticulitis

Diverticuli are herniations in the muscular layer of the colon that produce small, saclike swellings. Diverticulitis occurs when diverticuli become inflamed and infected.

EGD (Upper Endoscopy)

This procedure is done to look at part of the digestive system. It helps diagnose conditions such as acid reflux and ulcers.

Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography

This procedure, also called ERCP, allows the doctor to diagnose and treat problems in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, pancreas, and pancreatic duct.

Endoscopic Ultrasound

Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) allows your doctor to examine your esophageal and stomach linings as well as the walls of your upper and lower gastrointestinal tract.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis

This is an allergic condition that occurs in the esophagus.

Esophageal Dilation

This procedure allows your doctor to dilate or stretch a narrowed area of your esophagus.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)/Heartburn

This digestive disorder occurs when gastric acid flows from the stomach into the esophagus.

Hemorrhoids

These are veins in and around the anus and lower rectum that have become swollen due to stretching under pressure.

Sigmoidoscopy

This procedure allows a doctor to examine the lower portion of your colon using a thin tube. It may be used to help diagnose certain intestinal problems that can cause symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. It may also detect abnormal growths.