Some diseases can be prevented or cured. Others can be controlled or
improved if appropriate management steps are taken. In either case,
early detection and accurate diagnosis are crucial for achieving the
At Lankenau Medical Center, patients have access to the most advanced
tools and techniques available to screen for and diagnose diseases of
the digestive tract, liver, pancreas, bile ducts, and gallbladder,
including a wide range of specialized endoscopy procedures and
functional and motility tests.
Diagnostic endoscopy is the use of an endoscope to examine inside the
digestive tract for a cause of symptoms or to screen for problems before
symptoms occur. Diagnostic endoscopy allows detection of abnormal cells
or growths (such as Barrett’s esophagus or polyps), cancer, ulcers,
stones or other blockages, inflammation and bleeding. During endoscopy,
polyps can be removed and tissues can be collected for further testing.
Diagnostic endoscopy procedures include:
Upper endoscopy (EGD) is examination of the esophagus,
stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine) with an
endoscope that has been inserted at the mouth. The procedure is
performed under sedation. Upper endoscopy is used to evaluate for a
cause of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, swallowing problems, or
bleeding in the upper digestive tract. It is an important tool for
identifying abnormal or precancerous cells, tumors, inflammation and
Colonoscopy is examination of the entire colon (large
intestine) and, in some cases, the rectum and part of the small
intestine with an endoscope that has been inserted at the rectum. The
procedure is performed under sedation. Colonoscopy is an important tool
for colorectal cancer screening.
Doctors also perform colonoscopy to evaluate for suspected cancer,
inflammation (eg, inflammatory
bowel disease), bleeding, or blockage and to evaluate symptoms such
as chronic diarrhea.
Sigmoidoscopy is examination of the rectum and lower
segment of the colon with an endoscope that has been inserted at the
rectum. The procedure may be done with or without sedation.
Sigmoidoscopy helps doctors evaluate for a cause of diarrhea,
constipation, pain or bleeding in the lower digestive tract.
Capsule endoscopy uses a tiny, capsule-sized video
camera rather than an endoscope to examine the inside of the small
intestine (middle segment of the digestive tract), which is out of reach
with traditional upper endoscopy or colonoscopy. The capsule “endoscope”
is swallowed, travels through the digestive tract, and is excreted in a
bowel movement. While passing through the small intestine, the capsule
transmits video images to a data recorder that is worn on a belt.
Capsule endoscopy is most often used to look for a source of small
intestinal bleeding and to diagnose Crohn’s
disease, but it also helps detect tumors, polyps, inflammation and
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.