Dr. Biederman discusses how endoscopy has changed GI care at Botsford Hospital.
Question: What is endoscopy?
Dr. Biederman: There are many endoscopy procedures, but each is used to get a closer look at a different part of the body. It involves an instrument called an endoscope, a flexible tube that is placed
inside the body, usually through the mouth or rectum. The endoscope has a small camera on the end that transmits a picture onto a computer monitor for the doctor to see.
Question: What is endoscopy used for?
Dr. Biederman: We use endoscopy to look at all areas of the GI tract, from the esophagus to the colon. And, we can use endoscopy for both diagnosis and treatment. For example, we can use endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) to study the bile ducts or gallbladder. If we find stones in these organs, we can also use endoscopy to remove the stones. It also can be used to extract foreign bodies.
Question: How has endoscopy improved
Dr. Biederman: One of the biggest benefits we’ve seen with endoscopy has been in diagnosing and preventing colon cancer. By using colonoscopy to look into the large intestine, we can find colon cancer at its earliest stages. And, during the colonoscopy, we can also remove polyps, abnormal growths in the colon that can turn into cancer. Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., so it’s an important screening for everyone.
Question: What will the next advances in GI be?
Dr. Biederman: We’re moving toward using genetic markers to better determine personal risk. For example, in a few years, colonoscopy screening may only be needed for those who have certain genetic markers.
Question: How has endoscopy impacted
patient care at Botsford?
Dr. Biederman: One of the biggest benefits to patients is that endoscopy allows us to treat many conditions without surgery or with minimally invasive techniques. Not only can we remove polyps and stones with endoscopy, we can also use it to treat bleeding in the GI tract. Gallbladder removal only requires a small surgical incision. This makes procedures much easier for patients and reduces their recovery time.