Whatever digestive or liver concerns you might have, the professionals in Denver Health’s Division of Digestive and Liver Health (Gastroenterology and Hepatology) are ready to provide level one care for you. We’re well equipped with state-of-the-art approaches for anyone seeking screening colonoscopy, diagnosis, treatment or management of digestive or liver disease.
Patients of average risk for colon cancer can be tested annually through fecal occult blood testing by their primary caregivers. 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 streets. Our physicians have adenoma detection rates (an established quality indicator for colonoscopy) nearly twice the national benchmark level.
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 is one of the most effective cancer screening tools available. During a screening colonoscopy, physicians inspect the large intestine for any signs of polyps (precancerous lesions) that can be removed while the screening takes place to prevent cancer from ever developing. Colonoscopy 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 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.
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.
This procedure is done when there is a buildup 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.