Services

ADVANCED EVALUATION AND TREATMENT

Flexible medical endoscopeOur physicians provide gastroenterology and hepatology services, including advanced evaluation and treatment of diseases of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, pancreas, biliary system (gallbladder and bile ducts), and liver. We are experts in colon cancer diagnosis and prevention.

All of our physicians are board-certified in gastroenterology. Our physicians are fellowship-trained experts in endoscopy, the examination of the intestines with a “scope” or “light.” Through rigorous training, our physicians have achieved a high level of skill with these procedures. Our practice has safely performed over one hundred thousand examinations. It makes a difference.

Some digestive problems are very difficult to talk about and deal with. With our friendly staff, private consultations, thorough examinations, and clear explanations, we offer you help and hope that is not readily available elsewhere.

Click a tab below to learn more about the types of gastroenterology services and procedures we provide.

EGD (UPPER ENDOSCOPY)

An upper endoscopy examines the esophagus, stomach and the beginning of the small intestine. This examination is done with a “scope” or “light.” This procedure helps evaluate symptoms associated with persistent upper abdominal pain, nausea, or difficulty swallowing. It is more accurate than X-rays for detecting inflammation, ulcers and tumors of the esophagus and stomach. While the official name is Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, it is more commonly referred to as EGD. It visualizes the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract up to the duodenum.

COLONOSCOPY

A colonoscopy involves examining the walls of the large intestine for possible polyps and inflammation. Through the use of a flexible camera, the entire length of the colon can be examined. Colonoscopies are useful in detecting abnormalities, removing lesions and polyps, and determining whether they are precancerous or not. Colonoscopy is the preferred colorectal cancer screening test because it is the only test that both finds and removes precancerous polyps during the same exam.

SMALL BOWEL ENTEROSCOPY

Enteroscopy is a long scope used for the direct visualization and treatment of problems of the small bowel, which is otherwise difficult to reach.

BILIARY / PANCREATIC ENDOSCOPY

This specialized form of upper endoscopy evaluates problems of the bile ducts and pancreas and can provide removal of stones or placement of stents to relieve blockages in the system.

VIDEO CAPSULE ENDOSCOPY

This procedure utilizes a miniature video capsule swallowed in a pill form to record images of the digestive tract. Less invasive that the traditional endoscope, the capsule is primarily used to visualize the difficult-to-examine small intestine. This revolutionary technology may have expanded uses in the future, though it is not used for colon imaging at this time.

ESOPHAGEAL MANOMETRY

Also known as an esophageal motility study, this is used to assess the muscle function and coordination of the esophagus. A catheter is inserted through the nose into the esophagus and the patient is given swallows of liquid to detect pressure changes. This test is used for patients exhibiting difficulty swallowing and for assessment of suitability for anti-reflux surgery. We offer high-resolution manometry which provides more accurate evaluations

IMPEDANCE / pH STUDIES

An impedance and pH study measures the amount of acid or non-acid reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus. A small catheter is inserted through the nose past the esophagus into the stomach and worn for 24 hours. This test helps to identify if reflux symptoms are due to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

HYDROGEN BREATH TEST

This test is predominantly used for unexplained diarrhea and bloating. It is a non-invasive procedure that requires a short period of fasting. The test can be used to assess lactose malabsorption, fructose malabsorption, sucrose intolerance and small bowel bacterial overgrowth.

EMR (ENDOSCOPIC MUCOSAL RESECTION)

The endoscopic method of Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR) for removal of large colon polyps is one of the most important advancements in the GI specialty over the last several years. The EMR procedure can eliminate the need for surgery to remove large polyps with a much lower cost and considerable decreased risk. EMR is an advanced technique during which the base of the polyp is injected with solution to lift or separate the polyp from deeper intestinal layers. The polyp is then removed in large sections and the tissue is sent to a pathologist for evaluation.

ERCP (ENDOSCOPIC RETROGRADE CHOLANGIOPANCREATOGRAPHY)

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, or ERCP, is a specialized technique used to study the bile ducts, pancreatic duct and gallbladder. During the ERCP procedure, an endoscope is passed through the mouth, esophagus and stomach into the duodenum (first part of the small intestine). After your doctor sees the common opening to the ducts from the liver and pancreas, a catheter is passed through the endoscope and into the ducts. A contrast material (dye) is injected into the pancreatic or biliary ducts and X-rays are taken. Procedures can be performed during ERCP, such as opening blocked ducts, breaking up or removing gallstones, inserting stents, and collecting tissue samples for biopsy.

CALL TODAY TO SCHEDULE A COLONOSCOPY EXAM.

If you are healthy and have no symptoms, call 828-624-1358 to schedule a screening colonoscopy. A registered nurse will take your medical history over the phone and schedule your appointment. If you are having symptoms, you need a referral from your Primary Care Physician.

Our Office in Hickory, NC

Gastroenterology Associates, P.A.
415 North Center Street, Suite 300
Hickory, NC 28601

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Contact Us

Our office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm.

(828) 328-3300
(828) 328-9101

Our on-call physician can be reached through the Frye Regional Medical Center at (828) 315-5000 (established patients only)

For appointments and questions:
Call:   (828) 328-3300