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Interventional Endoscopy: Procedures Offered

Our care begins where standard endoscopic procedures end

Our internationally renowned team can diagnose and treat a wide variety of complex gastrointestinal disorders, including:

Some of our complex endoscopic procedures may spare patients from major surgery. For example, we perform interventional endoscopy to prevent the need for colectomy (full or partial colon removal).

In addition, the Center for Endoscopic Research and Therapeutics at UChicago Medicine is the only program in Chicago to offer:

  • Extra-corporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) for pancreatic stones
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT) for cholangiocarcinoma
  • Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection (ESD)

Some of the other procedures we perform are:

Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is most commonly used to diagnose and stage cancers. With it, physicians can determine whether cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes and detect tumors present in other organs, such as the pancreas, lungs and bile duct. Our team also uses it for evaluation and diagnosis of non-cancerous diseases. At the University of Chicago Medicine, we provide on-site cytopathology to provide patients with a diagnosis before they leave the endoscopy suite.

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
An endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedure uses an endoscope and X-rays to help physicians visualize tumors, blockages, and gallstones. It can be used to treat conditions that would otherwise be treatable only with surgery.

Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR)
Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) helps diagnose and treat early-stage cancers and precancerous lesions of the esophagus, colon, and duodenum. It also provides an effective alternative to surgery for the treatment of some conditions. Compared to traditional surgery, EMR patients benefit from faster recovery times and a lower risk of complications.

Enteral stenting
Some cancers can obstruct the normal openings within the gastrointestinal tract. Obstructions may cause great discomfort and interfere with digestive function. Our physicians use endoscopes to insert stents into narrowed areas in order to relieve obstructions. Enteral stenting does not cure cancer; we use it to improve symptoms and enhance quality of life.

Probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (pCLE)
UChicago Medicine is the only hospital in the region offering probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (pCLE) -- an advanced technique for early detection and treatment of cancerous and precancerous conditions. To perform this technique, our physicians use one of the world's smallest microscopes to view tissue cells in the digestive tract. Without removing a tissue sample from the patient's body, we are able to accurately pinpoint cancerous and noncancerous cells in organ tissue. If we detect cancer, we can remove cancerous tissue immediately during the endoscopic procedure.

Peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM)
Peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) offers patients an incisionless procedure for the treatment of achalasia — a disorder of the esophagus that makes it difficult to eat and drink. Achalasia occurs when a muscle located at the base of the esophagus (lower esophageal sphincter) doesn’t relax properly, making it difficult for food to pass into the stomach. Our physicians use an endoscope to reach and cut the lower sphincter muscle, permanently opening the value.

A Full Range of Advanced Interventional Endoscopy Procedures
We also have expertise in:

  • Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)
  • Celiac Plexus Nerve Block
  • Cholangioscopy
  • Ablation of cholangiocarcinoma
  • Lithotripsy of large biliary and pancreatic duct stones
  • Ampullectomy
  • Complex polypectomy
  • Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) of Barrett's esophagus, radiation proctitis, and gastric antral vascular ectasia (GAVE)
  • Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy (CLE)
  • Pancreatic pseudocyst drainage and necrosectomy
  • Endoscopic suturing
  • Palliative stenting of GI tract and pancreaticobiliary malignancies

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CERT: Interventional Endoscopy

Related Links

Featured Publication

Our study of endoscopic submucosal dissection performed in a Western setting was recently published in Digestive Diseases and Sciences. Read the article or view more of our selected publications.