- Interventional Endoscopy
Loyola Medicine’s clinically integrated care team of interventional endoscopists, gastrointestinal surgeons, radiologists and more work together to ensure the accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment for a variety of gastrointestinal conditions.
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Endoscopic Treatment for Gastrointestinal Conditions
Loyola Medicine offers comprehensive, integrated care for conditions and diseases requiring interventional endoscopy, a minimally invasive approach to the diagnosis and treatment of conditions involving the esophagus, stomach, large intestine, small intestine, liver, gallbladder and pancreas. Our highly experienced interventional endoscopists work as part of a clinically integrated care team, partnering with gastrointestinal surgeons, gastroenterologists, hepatologists, radiologists, oncologists, transplant surgeons and other specialists to provide state-of-the-art endoscopic techniques for many conditions.
By using an endoscope (a thin flexible tube with a camera at the end), the interventional endoscopy group at Loyola University Medical Center can use minimally invasive techniques to diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions, avoiding the need for more invasive diagnostic procedures and surgery. Our interventional endoscopists combine some of the most advanced technology with their extensive clinical experience to provide patients with an effective and safe alternative to invasive procedures. These techniques can provide patients with a diagnostic and/or treatment option that has shorter recovery times and fewer complications, and can often be done on an outpatient basis.
Why Choose Loyola for Interventional Endoscopy?
Loyola provides truly integrated clinical care for gastrointestinal conditions and disorders, bringing together specialists in gastrointestinal surgery, radiology, oncology and transplant surgery to provide patients with advanced care in a compassionate environment. The gastrointestinal & GI surgery specialists at Loyola have also been nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in their 2021-22 Best Hospitals list.
- All of our interventional endoscopists are fellowship-trained having spent additional training specifically in the field of interventional endoscopy.
- They perform a high volume of complex, interventional endoscopic procedures on an annual basis. Our team performs over 2,500 interventional endoscopy procedures per year making them one of the busiest interventional endoscopy programs in the area.
- Our interventional endoscopists regularly publish endoscopic research in peer-reviewed journals.
- They also serve on committees for gastroenterology medical societies and teach endoscopic techniques to other physicians during conferences conducted around the world.
- Our state of the art, interventional endoscopy suite allows our team to utilize multiple advanced technologies simultaneously to perform complex, interventional endoscopy procedures.
- Our interventional endoscopists have access to leading, advanced technologies to provide care to their patients.
Integrated care approach
- Our team works closely with numerous other physicians providing care to our patients including referring physicians to ensure high quality patient care.
- Our team has strong partnerships with our Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Abdominal Transplant Program, and Digestive Health Program to treat complex medical conditions.
- Our multi-disciplinary team includes nurses and technicians who specialize in interventional endoscopy. In addition, our nurses have earned Magnet status, which means they have been recognized for delivering the highest level of care.
What Conditions are Treated with Interventional Endoscopy?
Loyola’s interventional endoscopists have advanced training in endoscopic procedures for the diagnosis, treatment and management of gastrointestinal conditions, including:
- Acute pancreatitis
- Barrett's esophagus
- Bile duct cysts (choledochal cysts)
- Bile duct leaks
- Cholangiocarcinoma (Bile duct cancer)
- Bile duct stones (choledocholithiasis)
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Colon cancer
- Duodenal cancers and ulcers
- Esophageal cancer
- Esophageal strictures
- Gallstones (cholelithiasis)
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Gastrointestinal cancers
- Gastrointestinal cysts
- Gastrointestinal fistulas
- Gastrointestinal polyps
- Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST)
- Pancreas cysts
- Pancreas tumors
- Pancreatic cancer
- Pyloric stenosis
- Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC)
- Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction (SOD)
- Stomach cancers and ulcers
Diagnosis and Treatment
Interventional Endoscopy Procedures Performed at Loyola
Loyola’s expert interventional endoscopists specialize in the management and treatment of gastrointestinal conditions and diseases. Your doctor can utilize endoscopy for both diagnosis and treatment, often at the same time. Some examples of the diagnostic and therapeutic services performed by our interventional endoscopy team include:
- Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) — EMR is the removal of the top layer of gastrointestinal tract and is often used in precancerous conditions such as Barrett’s esophagus and gastrointestinal polyps. EMR may also be used for the diagnosis, staging, and treatment of early-stage cancers and lesions of the esophagus, stomach, duodenum and colon.
- Endoscopic ablation therapy — Ablation therapy removes or destroys diseased cells in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. This is commonly used to remove precancerous cells in patients with Barrett’s esophagus. Your doctor may remove the diseased cells with an endoscope and radiofrequency ablation (Barrx Halo) and/or cryotherapy (TruFreeze).
- Gastrointestinal stenting — For the treatment of blockages in the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, or colon, your doctor may recommend stent placement to relieve symptoms for patients who are not suitable for surgery. The stent is a flexible, hollow tube designed to open the obstructed portion of the gastrointestinal tract, which may be caused by a tumor, scarring, or outside pressure.
- Balloon enteroscopy — For patients who have problems suspected to be from the small intestine, your doctor may recommend single-balloon endoscopy. This procedure allows your doctor to diagnose and treat conditions present in parts of the small intestine that may not be seen during standard endoscopy.
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) — Through the use of an endoscope and X-ray imaging, your doctor may use ERCP to visualize tumors, blockages and gallstones.
- Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) — EUS can be used to diagnose and stage cancers, as well as to determine if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other organs. This technique can also be used to evaluate and diagnose non-cancerous GI conditions involving the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, bile duct, and colon.
- Endoscopic celiac plexus block and neurolysis — For patients experiencing chronic abdominal pain due to cancer or chronic pancreatitis, this procedure may provide relief by injecting pain medication into the nerves or destroying the nerves around the abdominal aorta. This is often used in patients who have not benefitted from other therapies.
Specialized Services Performed at Loyola
Our team of interventional endoscopists at Loyola perform several procedures that are not available at the majority of medical centers in the region. Our team has received specialized training to provide the most advanced diagnostic and treatment options for complex cases. Some examples of the specialized services performed by our interventional endoscopy team include:
- Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) — ESD is the removal of the top layer of gastrointestinal tract. For patients with gastrointestinal lesions that have not yet entered the muscle layer, ESD may be an effective form of treatment of polyps and early-stage cancers that may could not have been removed using standard endoscopic techniques.
- Fiducial placement for targeted radiation (CyberKnife and TrueBeam) — By using EUS, tiny markers can be placed around tumors in the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, and colon to make them easier to see during radiation therapy. This can help your radiation oncologist provider more accurate targeting of radiation treatments for your cancer.
- EUS-guided biliary and pancreatic bypass — In cases when the bile duct or pancreas duct is blocked and ERCP is not able to be performed, EUS can be used to create a bypass of the bile duct or pancreas duct to alleviate the blockage without tubes through the skin (percutaneous drain) or surgical bypass.
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with Digital Cholangioscopy/pancreatoscopy (Spyglass DS) — Through the use of an endoscope and X-ray imaging, your doctor may use ERCP to visualize tumors, blockages and stones of the bile duct or pancreas duct. At Loyola, our team can insert extremely thin, flexible cameras (Spyglass DS) directly into the bile duct or pancreas duct to examine these areas in close detail and perform targeted tissue sampling and treatment.
- Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) — ESWL allows large stones in the bile duct or pancreas duct to be broken into smaller pieces to make them easier to remove by ERCP and without surgery.
- Trans-lumenal endoscopic pancreatic necrosectomy — Patients with severe pancreatitis may develop pancreatic necrosis. This minimally invasive procedure removes dead pancreatic tissue and debris from the abdomen through the mouth using no incisions, avoiding invasive and complex surgical removal.
- Endoscopic suturing — This minimally invasive approach can replace complex, open surgeries for the closure of gastrointestinal fistulas and gastrointestinal leaks. This can also be used as a follow-up treatment for patients who have experienced weight regain after bariatric surgery.
- Sphincter of Oddi manometry — The sphincter of Oddi controls the flow of fluid from the pancreatic duct and common bile duct into the duodenum. For select patients with unexplained abnormal liver tests or recurrent unexplained pancreatitis, manometry may be used to measure the strength of the sphincter of Oddi. This procedure can be performed during ERCP.
Ongoing Research to Advance Interventional Endoscopy
Loyola’s expert interventional endoscopy program is actively pursuing new research with a focus on patient-centered outcomes. As an academic medical center, Loyola is dedicated to improving future treatments by conducting research on new diagnostics and treatments. Loyola’s patients benefit from research discoveries made here; read about Loyola’s current clinical trials.
- Our interventional endoscopy physicians publish 10 peer-reviewed publications a year and present over 20 abstracts at national medical conferences a year.
- Participate in several multi-center clinical studies.
- Serve on committees for national medical societies helping to create guidelines for physicians across the country.
- Serve on editorial review boards for medical journals publishing research on interventional endoscopy.