Gastroenterology Diagnostics & Testing
Comprehensive gastroenterology tests
Your gastroenterologist will use a number of tests to evaluate and diagnose the problems you are experiencing with your digestive system. Some of the most common tests your specialist may use are:
- Colonoscopy – A colonoscopy is performed to examine your large intestine for disease, most commonly colorectal cancer. Everyone age 50 and older should be screened for colorectal cancer. When performing a colonoscopy, the gastroenterologist uses a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and a light on the end to view your entire colon and rectum and check for polyps, inflammatory changes or cancer. If polyps are found, they often can be removed during this procedure.
- Upper endoscopy – An endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and light on the end. By adjusting the controls on the endoscope, the gastroenterologist can safely guide the instrument to carefully examine the inside lining of your upper digestive system. In some cases, digestive conditions can be treated through the endoscope.
- Endoscopic ultrasound – Endoscopic ultrasound is an imaging test that is used to see organs in and near your digestive tract. During this test, a gastroenterologist will insert a thin, flexible tube into your mouth or through your rectum. Once inside your digestive tract, sound waves are sent out the end of the tube. A computer receives these waves and a picture of what is inside is created.