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Gastrointestinal endoscopy

Esophagoscopy is useful in the diagnosis of esophageal diseases, which includes esophagitis, esophageal foreign bodies, as well as in the diagnosis of esophageal cancer. 


Gastroduodenoscopy refers to an examination of the inner surface of the stomach and the initial portion of the small intestine (duodenum) using a flexible, fiberoptic endoscope. In addition to visual inspection, gastroduodenoscopy provides the ability to obtain multiple biopsies from the lining of the small intestine and stomach.  Gastroduodenoscopy, therefore, provides an excellent tool in the diagnosis of multiple disorders of the intestinal system. Although general anesthesia is required, gastroduodenoscopy is generally a safe, non-surgical, non-painful procedure. Most patients are discharged the same day that the procedure is performed.



The major symptoms and reasons to perform a gastroduodenoscopy are:


1. Persistent vomiting

2. Persistent weight loss due to a small bowel disorder

3. Black, tarry stools (persistent melena)

4. Chronic diarrhea due to a small intestine disorder

5. Vomiting blood

6. Possible stomach or intestinal blockage

7. Inability to chew or swallow normally (dysphagia)

8. Removal of foreign matter from the stomach or esophagus

9. Placement of a feeding tube


Colonoscopy is performed after a complete diagnostic work-up and therapeutic plan

have failed to resolve problems linked to the lower intestine. To perform colonoscopy,

the patient is anesthetized and a flexible fiberoptic endoscope is passed into the colon.  Air, passed through the scope, increases the view within the colon. Biopsies can be obtained by passing an instrument through an opening in the scope. Colonoscopy provides a valuable, non-surgical means to diagnose large bowel disorders. To perform colonoscopy, it is important that the colon be clean of fecal matter so that the surface of the colon can be visualized.  This often requires withholding food for 24 to 48 hours and giving your pet a solution to drink which 'cleanses' the colon. Warm-water enemas may also be used to clear the colon. Most patientsare discharged the same day of the procedure.


The major symptoms and reasons to perform a colonoscopy are:


1. Chronic diarrhea

2. Blood in the stool (persistent hematochezia)

3. Study of a growth in the colon or rectum

4. Straining during defecation (persistent tenesmus)

5. Excessive mucus in the stool

6. Stools of significantly decreased or narrowed size


More recently, colonoscopy has been playing an important role in upper intestinal problems such as weight loss, chronic diarrhea, and vomiting. In this case, the goal of the colonoscopy is to attain biopsies from the ileum. This is especially important in cats because it is thought that up to 40% of cats with intestinal lymphoma will only have evidence of lymphoma in the ileum. 


Lastly, colonoscopy could be used to diagnose and dilate rectal strictures as well as to remove colonic polyps that are not surgically excisable. 

Pylorogastric intussusception

Pylorogastric intussusception in a dog

Esophageal foreign body retrieval

Esophageal foreign body in a dog

Duodenal ulcer due to GIST (gastrointestinal stromal tumor)

Duodenal ulcer in a dog caused by a gastrointestinal stromal tumor

Gastric foreign body

Gastric foreign body in a cat

Ileum biopsy collection in a dog

Ileum biopsy collection in a dog

Ileum biopsy collection in a cat

Ileum biopsy collection in a cat

Our Internal Medicine team

Besides Dr. Otoni and Dr. Galvao, Dr. Julie Danner is also part of our internal medicine team and she also does this procedure.

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