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GI Services at St. Joseph's

St. Joseph’s GI Department provides many services and treatments, including:

  • Colonoscopy
  • Upper Endoscopy


Colonoscopies are completed for colon cancer and polyp detection and removal and the investigation of constipation, rectal bleed, abdominal pain and chronic diarrhea.

During a colonoscopy, patients lie on their left side on an examination table. In most cases, a light sedative, and possibly pain medication, will be given to help you relax. The doctor inserts a long, flexible, lighted tube called a colonoscope, or scope, into the anus and slowly guides it through the rectum and into the colon. The scope inflates the large intestine with carbon dioxide gas to give the doctor a better view. A small camera mounted on the scope transmits a video image from inside the large intestine to a computer screen, allowing the doctor to carefully examine the intestinal lining.

Upper Endoscopy

Upper Endoscopies are completed for the diagnosis of ulcers, acid reflux, celiac disease, and investigation of upper abdominal pain, trouble swallowing, vomiting and gastrointestinal bleeding.

During an upper endoscopy, patients lie on their back or side on an examination table. An endoscope is carefully fed down the esophagus and into the stomach and duodenum. A small camera mounted on the endoscope transmits a video image to a video monitor, allowing close examination of the intestinal lining. Air is pumped through the endoscope to inflate the stomach and duodenum, making them easier to see. Special tools that slide through the endoscope allow the doctor to perform biopsies, stop bleeding, and remove abnormal growths.

Before an upper endoscopy, you may receive a local, liquid anesthetic that is gargled or sprayed on the back of the throat. The anesthetic numbs the throat and calms the gag reflex. An intravenous (IV) needle is placed in a vein in the arm if a sedative will be given. Sedatives help patients stay relaxed and comfortable.