Narrowed (strictured) parts in the GI tract may benefit from getting stretched and re-opened. Strictures may occur for many reasons and anywhere in the digestive system, such as the esophagus (food pipe) from excessive acid reflux. During an endoscopy, your doctor will pass a catheter across the narrowing to increase it to the desired size. Patients with a disease called achalasia, a disorder that makes it difficult for food and liquid from the esophagus into your stomach, may need more aggressive dilation called pneumatic dilation.
Stents are cylinder-shaped metal tubes that are placed across a blockage in the GI tract. The stents come in different sizes and lengths, and allows your digestive system to resume normal transit of food and liquids. These stents can be placed anywhere in the digestive tract (esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine). Reasons why these stents might be placed is for: Esophageal cancer patients who cannot swallow, lung cancer that is compressing the esophagus, post-operative leaks, pancreatic cancer that blocks the small intestine and colon obstruction from cancer).
When liver enzymes are abnormal and blood tests may are not conclusive, your doctor may want to obtain a piece of liver tissue to analyze under the microscope. This typically helps pinpoint the cause o the problem. This is typically done with the patient awake; a needle is inserted through the skin and into your liver (percutaneous liver biopsy). With advanced training, this can now be done through endoscopy while the patient is fully sedated and asleep. Tissue obtained has been shown to be equal to a percutaneous liver biopsy. This is a great option for patients who already need an upper endoscopy to assess other digestive structures. Patients may return to work the day after the procedure.