ValleyCare offers gastrointestinal (GI) services in two locations: at ValleyCare Medical Plaza in Livermore and ValleyCare Medical Center in Pleasanton. Procedures are performed by gastroenterology specialists and assisted by nurses trained in GI procedures. A physician referral is required for all procedures.
Colonoscopy/Colon Cancer Screening
A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure in which a small scope is used to examine the large bowel (colon and rectum). This procedure is normally used to evaluate symptoms such as abdominal pain, rectal bleeding or changes in bowel habits.
Colonoscopy is also the primary means to screen for colon cancer. Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can find polyps, which can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screenings can also detect cancer at an early stage, when treatment works best.
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Upper GI Endoscopy
This procedure uses a thin scope with a light and camera at the tip to view the inside of the upper digestive system—the esophagus, stomach and the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). An upper GI is commonly used to help determine the causes of heartburn (GERD), bleeding, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and swallowing disorders.
ERCP's Pancreatic Bile Duct Work
An endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP) is a procedure that combines the use of a flexible, lighted scope (endoscope) with x-ray images to examine the tubes that drain the liver, gallbladder and pancreas.
If a person is having trouble swallowing and can't consume enough food or liquids by mouth, a procedure called percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) can be performed, where a feeding tube is placed in the stomach.
A disposable, wireless video camera located within a capsule is swallowed. When it is passed out of the body, it is retrieved and the film reviewed by specialists.
With a virtual colonoscopy, CT or MRI is used to take two- or three-dimensional images of the interior lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum. A virtual colonoscopy can be used to screen for precancerous and cancerous growths in the colon or rectum (colorectal cancer), such as polyps or tumors. The preparation for a virtual colonoscopy is the same as for a regular colonscopy.
Periodically throughout the year, informative community education seminars that focus on gastrointestinal issues are offered free to the public. Please visit our education calendar to view upcoming seminars.