Avista Adventist Hospital’s Gastroenterology Laboratory
Saving and improving lives through early detection of disease of the digestive system
Located on their first floor, Avista's newly remodeled GI Lab features private, state-of-the-art endoscopic suites dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of digestive disorders—from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) to colon cancer.
Among the First to Install New Technology
Because much of the digestive tract cannot be seen without surgery, gastroenterologists rely on endoscopes—a flexible tube with a video camera—to obtain images of the areas being studied.
Avista was one of the first hospitals in the region to obtain the Olympus 190 high-definition endoscopic imaging system. By producing notably clearer images, this system allows physicians to see areas of concern previously difficult to detect—helping to catch problems early and improve outcomes. It can, for example, increase the detection rate of small pre-cancerous polyps, allowing them to be removed before they turn into cancer.
Life-Saving Colonoscopy Screenings: More Effective than Ever
The GI Lab combines top tier technology with expertise to perform colonoscopies—an important colon cancer screening test recommended for adults.
Although colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer, with regular colonoscopy screenings, it can be found and treated early or even prevented. Not only do our gastroenterologists have the experience that results from performing thousands of colonoscopies a year, our new technology provides clearer images and helps them find small, pre-cancerous polyps that can be removed before cancer sets in.
Experts recommend having your first colonoscopy at age 50—earlier if your family history requires it. Call your primary care physician or the physicians at Northwest Gastroenterology Specialists to see if you're due for a screening.
Capsule Endoscopy: Camera in a Pill
Avista's GI Lab offers capsule endoscopy, a procedure that uses a tiny camera placed in a vitamin-sized capsule to take images of your digestive tract. The patient swallows the capsule, and as the capsule travels through the digestive tract, it transmits pictures that can help physicians see areas that are sometimes hard to reach with traditional endoscopy.
Capsule endoscopy can be used to diagnose or treat a variety of conditions including bleeding, inflammatory bowel diseases, cancer, celiac disease and polyps.
GI Lab Technology Helps Prevent Cancer Caused by Reflux and Barrett's Esophagus
About 10% of people with chronic reflux have Barrett's Esophagus, a condition in which the lower esophagus cells are damaged—usually from repeated exposure to stomach acid. With regular screenings, precancerous cells can often be detected and treated, preventing the onset of esophageal cancer. Patients of Avista's GI Lab can receive radiofrequency ablation to help return the esophageal tissue to normal tissue, which helps prevent cancer.