Digestive & Liver Health Services
What You Need to Know About
Colon Cancer Screening
Digestive Health Clinic
The Denver Health Digestive Health Clinics are available for anyone who is referred for more extensive evaluation and consultation of digestive concerns. The clinics offer outpatient care to people who seek evaluation, diagnosis and continued care for a wide variety of digestive health conditions. The clinics act as a hub for your care, where basic diagnostic tests are carried out, treatment is provided and referrals are made for procedures, when necessary and appropriate.
The Denver Health Liver Clinics are available to anyone who is referred for more extensive evaluation and consultation of liver concerns. The liver clinics have two Board-Certified liver specialists and a physician assistant who also specializes in liver disease. The clinics offer outpatient care to people who seek evaluation, diagnosis and continued care for a wide variety of liver health conditions. The clinics act as a hub for your care, where basic diagnostic tests are carried out, treatment is provided and referrals are made for procedures, when necessary and appropriate.
Hepato-biliary Pancreatic Clinic
Physicians in the Hepato-biliary Pancreatic Clinic consult with and treat patients with problems of the liver, bile ducts, gall bladder, pancreas and gastrointestinal tract. Patients in the clinic may receive diagnostic tests, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and endoscopic ultrasound. Therapies may include medication, surgery, interaoperative ultrasound or other treatments as needed.
Patients of average risk for colon cancer can be tested annually through FOBT (fecal occult blood testing) by their primary care givers. Colon cancer is diagnosed in nearly 150,000 Americans each year and screening for prevention or early detection is proven to save lives which is why it is so important to follow screening guidelines.
Patients who are at increased risk for colon cancer, have symptoms such as change in bowel habits, evidence of bleeding or anemia, or who wish to choose colonoscopy as a screening test, undergo their procedure in our new state-of-the-art endoscopy facility in Pavilion M, located at 7th and Delaware. Our physicians have adenoma detection rates (an established quality indicator for colonoscopy) nearly twice the national benchmark level.
- Upper endoscopy - This thin tube with a light and camera at the end of it gives the physician an inside look at the throat, esophagus, stomach and part of the small intestine. The tool is used to diagnose and treat ailments of the digestive tract. Most endoscopy procedures are done in the outpatient surgical suites located in Pavilion M and are performed by our Board-Certified physicians.
- Colonoscopy - Colonoscopy is one of the most effective cancer screening tools available. During a screening colonoscopy, physicians inspect the large intestince for any signs of polyps (pre-cancerous lesions) that can be removed while the screening takes place to prevent cancer from ever developing. Colonscopy is also used to diagnose and treat other problems of the large intestine.
Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures
Besides colonoscopies and upper endoscopies, Denver Health is able to provide the latest diagnostic and interventional procedures. Capsule endoscopy, a video camera contained in a capsule small enough to swallow, allows visualization of the entire small intestine. Advanced biliary and pancreatic endoscopy provides diagnosis and treatment for patients with stones or strictures in the bile or pancreatic ducts.
- Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) - Endoscopic ultrasound allows diagnosis and staging of tumors with much greater accuracy than standard CT scans or MRI in many cases.
- Endoscopic Retrograde Cholagio Pancreatogram (ERCP) - After the endoscope is inserted through the mouth and into the bile duct, dye is squirted through the endoscope and into the bile duct. X-ray pictures are taken and the dye helps to highlight any abnormal areas. Biopsy samples and fluid can also be taken during the ERCP.
- Liver Biopsy - Patients are usually referred for liver biopsy from the Hepatology Clinic. The procedure involves removing some tissue from the liver to be looked at under a microscope.
- Paracentesis - This procedure is done when there is a build-up of fluid in the abdomen. A needle is inserted into the abdomen to either draw a sample of the fluid that can be analyzed or to drain the fluid.
Whatever digestive or liver concerns you might have, the professionals in Denver Health’s Division of Digestive and Liver Health are ready to provide Level One Care for You.