Gastrointestinal Endoscopy


Gastrointestinal endoscopy is a type of endoscopic procedure that allows physicians to examine the digestive system by inserting a long, flexible lighted instrument called an endoscope either through the rectum or down through the throat. These gastrointestinal endoscopy procedures may be performed to evaluate and treat disorders of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, and the pancreas and bile ducts.

Often endoscopy evaluation is used detect early signs of gastrointestinal cancer, greatly increasing the chances for successful treatment. For example, early diagnosis can lead to better outcomes for colorectal cancer treatment, including colorectal cancer surgery.

The Endoscopy Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) provides gastrointestinal and other endoscopy procedures in a state-of-the-art medical facility for patients in the greater Boston area and the New England region. The Endoscopy Center is recognized as one of the leading endoscopic centers in the country.

Gastrointestinal endoscopy procedures offered at the Center include:

  • colonoscopy, which allows evaluation of the lining of the rectum and colon and may include polypectomy to remove polyps during the procedure
  • capsule endoscopy, which involves swallowing a small capsule containing a miniature camera that transmits images of the gastrointestinal tract
  • flexible sigmoidoscopy, an endoscopy procedure that enables evaluation of the rectum and sigmoid colon

The Endoscopy Center at BWH also provides advanced endoscopy services, including:

  • endoscopic ultrasound, a procedure that uses endoscopy techniques to transmit ultrasound images of the gastrointestinal tract
  • endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), a procedure used to treat biliary and pancreatic diseases
  • endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR), used to remove abnormal growths in the gastrointestinal tract
  • deep enteroscopy, a procedure used to evaluate and treat small intestine disorders that involve gastrointestinal bleeding

Researchers at BWH are also involved in leading several trials of innovative gastrointestinal endoscopy techniques to provide bariatric surgery procedures with less risk and fewer complications to patients.

Learn more about gastrointestinal endoscopy procedures at BWH.

BWH: a leader in gastrointestinal endoscopy for disease evaluation and treatment.

The Endoscopy Center at BWH is designated as a Center of Excellence by the World Organization of Digestive Endoscopy, one of only 17 gastrointestinal endoscopy programs in the world. As part of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endoscopy at BWH, the Center is committed to the hospital's mission to advance the development of innovative endoscopy methods and technologies for diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders.

For patients in the greater Boston area requiring a gastrointestinal endoscopy, BWH features two convenient locations: one at our main campus at 75 Francis Street in Boston's Longwood Medical area, and the second at the BWH Ambulatory Care Center at 850 Boylston Street in Chestnut Hill, which provides complimentary parking for patients and visitors.

Learn more about Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and other Endoscopic Procedures at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Robert Burakoff, MD, MPH, Clinical Chief, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endoscopy; and Director, Center for Digestive Health, discusses diagnosis and treatment for esophageal and motility disorders, including gastroesophageal reflux disease, as well as multidisciplinary care offered by Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Read the Esophageal and Motility Disorders - New Recommendations for Diagnosis and Treatment video transcript.

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