Following a thorough health history and physical examination, you may need to undergo further testing for an accurate diagnosis of your digestive problem. Throughout the testing process, our digestive team strives to put you at ease and lessen any discomfort or embarrassment you may feel.
El Camino Health digestive health doctors are among the most skilled in the Silicon Valley in conducting routine and complex testing for digestive disorders. The large number of tests we perform, adherence to rigorous national safety and quality standards and the use of the most up-to-date equipment all help to ensure that we find the answers you need to move forward with effective treatment.
Most of our digestive system tests can be performed as a same-day procedure. Diagnostic tests we offer include:
Endoscopy is a technique to examine the inside of organs using a lighted, flexible tube with a tiny camera. Endoscopy tests are available at many hospitals, but our doctors bring you a superior level of training and experience in performing procedures and interpreting results.
To ensure the highest level of precision and safety for you, we have a quality program in place to measure our performance against rigorous national standards for colonoscopy, endoscopic ultrasound and other tests. We offer:
- Colonoscopy is an examination of the lower part of your gastrointestinal tract, called the colon or large intestine (bowel). El Camino Health was the first in the world to use the innovative Third Eye® Retroscope® to view in front of and behind the folds of the colon to identify problems during a colonoscopy.
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) uses an endoscope, dye and X-rays to diagnose problems in your liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, pancreas and pancreatic duct.
- Endoscopic ultrasound is an examination of your digestive tract using an ultrasound attachment inside an endoscope. Ultrasound images help your doctor identify abnormal areas of the digestive organs.
- Sigmoidoscopy is an examination of the lower portion of your gastrointestinal tract, called the colon, large intestine or sigmoid.
- Upper endoscopy is an examination of the lining of the upper part of the digestive tract, including the esophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine.
Your doctor numbs an area on your abdomen, injects a needle into your liver and removes a tissue sample for further study. This is the most common type of liver biopsy, and you can go home immediately afterwards.
If your doctor wants a larger tissue sample, you may go to sleep under a general anesthetic while your doctor makes a small incision in your skin and removes a piece of your liver for more extensive study. You may be asked to stay overnight to allow the general anesthesia to wear off.
A third method is to numb an area on your neck so your doctor can make a small incision into a vein in your neck and insert a tiny tube down to your liver to remove tissue samples.
Other specialized tests we perform for motility disorders (functional problems of the digestive tract) include:
- Anal sphincter electromyogram (EMG)
- Anal sphincter endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
- Bravo 48-hour pH testing
- Gastric barostat
- Hydrogen breath test
- Impedance testing
- Manometry tests (anorectal, colon, esophagus, pyloric sphincter)
- Pudendal nerve motor latency test
- Small bowel motility test