Gastroenterology Tests & Procedures
Because digestive symptoms (such as nausea, stomach pain, and indigestion) may be associated with different diseases, your doctor will ask about your medical history to determine any underlying digestive disease. We, at Fortis, offer every type of diagnostic testing available to assess digestive problems, including advanced interventional endoscopy techniques that allow our doctors to see inside the digestive tract and perform treatment procedures at the same time.
Fecal Occult Blood Test
A fecal occult blood test checks for hidden (occult) blood in the stool. It involves placing a very small amount of stool on a special card, which is then tested in the laboratory.
A stool culture checks for the presence of abnormal bacteria in the digestive tract that may cause diarrhea and other problems. A small sample of stool is collected and sent to a laboratory. In two or three days, the test will show whether abnormal bacteria are present.
Ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves and a computer to create images of blood vessels, tissues, and organs. An ultrasound is used to view internal organs as they function, and to assess blood flow through various vessels
Computed tomography scan (CT or CAT scan)
This diagnostic imaging procedure uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general x-rays.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
MRI is a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radio frequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. The patient lies on a bed that moves into the cylindrical MRI machine. The machine takes a series of pictures of the inside of the body using a magnetic field and radio waves. The computer enhances the pictures produced. The test is painless and does not involve exposure to radiation. Because the MRI machine is like a tunnel, patients who are claustrophobic or unable to hold still during the test, may be given a sedative to help them relax. Metal objects cannot be present in the MRI room, so persons with pacemakers or metal clips or rods inside the body cannot have this test done. All jewelry must be removed before the procedure.
Barium Swallow Test
A barium swallow test also called an upper GI series, is an X-ray test to examine the upper digestive tract. During this procedure, you are asked to drink a harmless dose of liquid barium, which temporarily coats the lining of the esophagus, the stomach, and the intestines and is illuminated on X-rays. The barium allows a radiologist to examine these structures as the liquid goes down. A barium swallow is often used along with other tests to give your doctor more information about the esophagus.
Radioisotope Gastric – Emptying Scan
For this test, the patient eats food containing a radioisotope, which is a slightly radioactive substance that will show up on a scan that is done while the patient lies under a machine. The dosage of radiation from the radioisotope is very small and not harmful, but it allows the radiologist to see the food in the stomach and observe how quickly it leaves the stomach.
Colorectal Transit Study
This test shows how well food moves through the colon. The patient swallows capsules containing small markers which are visible on x-ray. The patient follows a high-fiber diet during the course of the test, and the movement of the markers through the colon is monitored with abdominal x-rays taken several times three to seven days after the capsule is swallowed.
If the results of blood or stool tests suggest inflammation in the large intestine, your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy, a procedure used to visualize the large intestine.
An upper endoscopy is used to diagnose and, sometimes, treat conditions that affect the upper part of your digestive system, including the esophagus, stomach and beginning of the small intestine (duodenum).