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Tests and Procedures

Procedures include (but are not limited to):

  • Foreign body removal from the GI tract
  • Liver Biopsy
  • Rectal Suction Biopsy
  • Anorectal and Esophageal Manometry
  • pH Impedance Probe Study

Preparation Instructions for Common Procedures

One of our physicians determines when a procedure is appropriate. If the physician makes the determination while you are here for an outpatient clinic visit, you are given an appointment date and preparation instructions before you leave the clinic.

If you schedule the procedure through our administrative office, one of our ambulatory representatives calls you to set up the appointment. We then give you preparation instructions through the mail, if time permits, or over the telephone if necessary. In either case, we call you 48 hours prior to the procedure with an arrival time.

Procedures - Glossary

  • Abdominal ultrasound. An imaging test that shows the internal organs as they work. It makes images using high-frequency sound waves in the internal organs. It can also potentially measure blood flow.
  • Abdominal X-ray. A imaging test that provides a snapshot picture that gives the provider an idea of how the inside of the abdomen looks, such as how much stool is in the colon, signs for obstruction, infection, or dilation.
  • Anorectal manometry. This test checks the strength of the muscles in the anus and the nerve reflexes. It also checks your child’s ability to sense that the rectum is full (rectal distension) and a bowel movement is needed. And it looks at how well the muscles work together during a bowel movement.
  • Barium enema. This is an X-ray exam of the rectum, the large intestine, and the lower part of the small intestine. Your child will be given a metallic fluid called barium. Barium coats the organs so they can be seen on an X-ray. The barium is put into a tube and inserted into your child’s rectum as an enema. An X-ray of the belly will show if your child has any narrowed areas (strictures), blockages (obstructions), or other problems.
  • Biopsy / disaccharidase test. This test involves undergoing an upper endoscopy and taking a small sample from the first part of the small intesting for enzyme analysis.
  • Blood tests. These tests can be done to look for a variety of issues: number of red blood cells, number of white blood cells, inflammatory markers, low vitamin levels, celiac disease, liver enzymes, antibodies, coagulation markers, among other things.
  • Capsule Endoscopy. This test uses a camera shaped like a pill to look at the inside of the digestive tract that cannot be seen using the upper endoscopy and colonoscopy.
  • Chest X-ray. An imaging test that provides a snapshot picture of how the chest area appears, including the heart and lungs. This test can look for signs of pneumonia or aspiration from reflux.
  • Colonoscopy. This test looks at the full length of the large intestine. It can help check for abnormal growths, inflamed tissue, sores or ulcers, and bleeding. It uses a long, flexible, lighted tube called a colonoscope. The tube is put into your child’s rectum up into the colon. This tube lets the provider see the lining of the colon and take out a tissue sample or biopsy to test it. Your child’s provider may also be able to treat some problems that may be found. Tissue samples or biopsies from inside the digestive tract may also be taken for testing.
  • Colon transit study. This test shows how well food moves through your child’s colon. The child swallow a pill with small markers that can be seen on an X-ray. X-rays will be taken 5 days after your child takes the pills. The X-rays will show how the markers moved through the colon.
  • CT scan (computed tomography scan). This imaging test shows detailed images of any part of the body such as the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than regular X-rays.
  • Digital rectal examination (DRE). Your child’s provider puts a gloved, greased (lubricated) finger into your child’s rectum. The provider will feel for anything abnormal.
  • ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography). This is used to find and treat problems in your liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas. It uses X-ray and a long, flexible, lighted tube (an endoscope). The tube is put into your mouth and throat. It goes down your food pipe (esophagus), through your stomach, and into the first part of your small intestine (duodenum). A dye is injected into the bile ducts through the tube. The dye lets the bile ducts be seen clearly on X-rays. The tube has tools in it. The tools can remove fluid and blockages and take out gallstones. They can also put stents (firm tubes) in the ducts to keep them open.
  • Esophageal manometry. This test checks the strength of the esophagus muscles. It can see if your child has any problems with reflux or swallowing. A small tube is put into your child’s nostril, then down the throat and into the esophagus. Then it measures the pressure that the esophageal muscles make at rest.
  • EUS (endoscopic ultrasound). This is an internal type of ultrasound done through a flexible tube (endoscope) inserted through the mouth while you are sleeping.
  • Gastric emptying study. This test is done to see if your child’s stomach sends its contents into the small intestine properly. Delayed gastric emptying can cause reflux into the esophagus
  • Hydrogen breath test. Your child drinks a liquid that has a lot of lactose. The breath is then checked at regular times to measure the amount of hydrogen. High levels of hydrogen mean your child is lactose intolerant.
  • Liver biopsy. This test takes a small tissues from your child's liver for evaluation under the microscope and/or electron microscope.
  • Lower GI series or barium enema. This test checks the large intestine, including the colon and rectum. A thick, chalky fluid called barium is put into a tube. It is inserted into your child’s rectum as an enema. Barium coats the organs, so they can be seen on an X-ray. An X-ray of your child’s belly will show if there are any narrowed areas called strictures. It will also show any blockages or other problems.
  • MRCP (magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography). This uses MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to make detailed images of your pancreas, gallbladder, and pancreatic and bile ducts. A dye is shot (injected) into your vein so that the images can be seen more clearly.
  • MRI. This test uses large magnets, radio waves, and a computer. Together, these show detailed images of organs and structures inside your child’s body.
  • NG tube (nasogastric tube). This is a thin tube passed down your nose and into your stomach. It is used if vomiting is a problem. The tube can be used for a few weeks. It can be used to remove fluid and air and give your pancreas more time to heal. It can also be used to put liquid food into your stomach as you heal.
  • pH impedance monitoring. This test checks the pH or acid level in the esophagus as well as non-acidic liquids in the esophagus. A thin, plastic tube is placed into your child’s nostril, down the throat, and into the esophagus. The tube has a sensor that measures acid reflux and nonacid reflux. The other end of the tube outside your child’s body is attached to a small monitor. This records your child’s pH levels for 24 to 48 hours. During this time your child can go home and do his or her normal activities. You will need to keep a diary of any symptoms your child feels that may be linked to reflux. These include gagging or coughing. You should also keep a record of the time, type of food, and amount of food your child eats. Your child’s pH readings are checked. They are compared to your child’s activity for that time period.
  • Rectal biopsy. This test takes a sample of the cells in the rectum. They are checked under a microscope for any problems.
  • Sigmoidoscopy. This test lets your healthcare provider check the inside of part of the large intestine, specifically the sigmoid and rectum. A short, flexible, lighted tube (sigmoidoscope) is put into the large intestine through the rectum. This tube blows air into the intestine to make it swell. This makes it easier to see inside. A biopsy can be taken if needed.
  • Small bowel follow through. This test evaluates the small intestine with an X-ray. Your child swallows a fluid called barium. This is a thick, chalky fluid. It is used to coat the inside of organs so that they will show up on an X-ray. Then X-rays are taken to check the digestive organs for strictures or blockages or other problems.
  • Stool studies. A stool culture to check for abnormal bacteria or parasites in your child’s digestive tract. A small stool sample is taken and sent to a lab. Stool can also be sent to look for blood, fat, sugars or proteins.
  • Upper endoscopy. This test checks the inside of part of the digestive tract. It uses a small, flexible tube called an endoscope. The tube has a light and a camera lens at the end. Tissue samples or biopsies from inside the digestive tract may also be taken for testing.
  • Upper GI series or barium swallow. This test looks at the organs of the top part of your child’s digestive system. It checks the food pipe (esophagus), the stomach, and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). Your child will swallow a metallic fluid called barium. Barium coats the organs so that they can be seen on an X-ray. Then X-rays are taken to check for signs of sores or ulcers, or abnormal blockages.
  • Urine analysis and culture. These help check for urinary tract infections.