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Capsule endoscopy technology, other new services added in Manitowoc

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Aurora Health Care gastroenterologists Paul Ruh, M.D., and Rajesh Sharma, M.D., have added the Manitowoc area’s only capsule endoscopy technology, among other new procedures, to the GI services available to local patients.

Capsule endoscopy provides a non-invasive look at the entirety of the small intestine via a camera pill. The patient swallows the pill and wears a belt monitor for eight hours, during which time the capsule generates roughly 57,000 images. After the belt is removed, the images are downloaded into a computer for the physician to study.

Traditional endoscopy, in which a lighted tube with a camera is run through the mouth and down the esophagus, only reaches the first part of the small intestine, whereas capsule endoscopy can provide images for all 22 feet of it. Capsule endoscopy has been used to diagnose conditions such as Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, malabsorption disorders, incidious blood loss anemia, acute gastrointestinal hemmorhage, and others.

The procedure is not intended as a substitute for a colonoscopy, which is used to examine the colon, or large intestine. But it’s a significant breakthrough as a non-invasive diagnostic tool for a major portion of the GI tract.

“Capsule endoscopy has the ability to visualize areas of the GI tract physicians had been unable to view previously through standard endoscopy,” said Dr. Ruh.

Dr. Sharma added: “We are very pleased to make this new technology available locally to our patients.”

Capsule endoscopy is available at the Aurora Two Rivers Clinic (793-2281) and at the Aurora Manitowoc Clinic on Reed Avenue (682-8841).

In addition, Aurora Medical Center’s GI laboratory has added several new technologies and procedures. They include:

  • Enteryx (trademark name) – This is an endoscopic surgical management of gastroesophageal reflux disease (also known as GERD or acid reflux) during which an endoscope is passed through the mouth and down into the esophagus, where a solution is injected into the sphincter muscle. The solution acts like a medication to help the sphincter stop stomach acids from backing up into the esophagus.
  • Capsule pH monitoring – Similar to the capsule endoscopy, a swallowed capsule measures acid levels in patients and can help in the definitive diagnosing of GERD.
  • Esophageal manometry – This is a test that measures the pressures and muscular contractions of the esophagus. It is used in the management of GERD and in patients with dysphagia.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora has care sites in more than 80 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Contact:  Mike Spofford (920-445-2165)

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