Screenings & Treatments

Diagnosing and Treating Gastrointestinal Conditions

From gallstones to abdominal pain syndrome, gastrointestinal experts at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center diagnosis and treat digestive conditions. It begins with screening tests, which can find problems early or even help stop an illness before it starts.

Gastrointestinal procedures can also help diagnose your illness. And advanced treatment procedures can relieve symptoms and help heal a wide range of gastrointestinal conditions.

At Lahey, we take every step to ensure your procedure is safe, effective and as comfortable as possible. We start by talking with you about your treatment options. Because you are the key player in your care team, you have an important role in determining which procedure is best for you.

Once we decide on the appropriate procedure, your providers will explain the process and how you should prepare. For example, it may be necessary to fast before some procedures. We take time to answer your questions and let you know what to expect afterward. Your procedure may be done at our Advanced Endoscopy Center or at another Lahey location. We’ll make sure you know where it will be and when to arrive.

With our Endoscopy on Demand program, your primary care provider can order your procedure directly so you won’t need to make a separate appointment with a gastroenterologist.

Advanced Endoscopy Procedures

At Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, our dedicated physicians work with a team of specialized endoscopy nurses and technicians to perform a variety of advanced endoscopic procedures. These procedures are performed in our new, state-of-the-art endoscopy unit with the assistance of general anesthesia.

Advanced endoscopy procedures are used to treat a variety of conditions involving the bile duct and pancreas, removal of large precancerous lesions, and treatment of early cancers of the GI tract. Our team works closely with experts in pathology, interventional radiology, oncology, and surgery.

Patients can be seen in the office for consultation or directly booked for an endoscopic procedure.

Conditions We Evaluate and Treat
  • Barrett’s esophagus with dysplasia and early cancer
  • Complex esophageal strictures
  • Pancreatic cysts
  • Pancreatic and bile duct cancer
  • Bile duct stones
  • Obscure GI bleeding
  • Colon polyps
  • Post-surgical complications

Our pancreatic cyst clinic is dedicated to patients with pancreatic cysts. Most commonly the cysts are detected via CT or MRI scan. We offer weekly multidisciplinary clinics to perform complete evaluations of each patient. Using an evidence-based algorithm, we then arrange appropriate follow-up which may include additional imaging, endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) with cyst aspiration, or surgical consultation.

Advanced Endoscopy Procedures

The following advanced endoscopy procedures are performed at Lahey:

  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with stone extraction, cholangioscopy, radiofrequency ablation (RFA), tissue sampling, and stent placement
  • EUS with on-site cytology
  • Interventional EUS, including pseudocyst drainage, fiducial placement, gallbladder drainage, and endoscopic gastrojejunostomy
  • Management of Barrett’s esophagus with dysplasia with training in RFA and cryotherapy
  • Endoscopic mucosal resection of large colon polyps and early GI cancers
  • Enteral stent placement
  • Single balloon enteroscopy
  • Endoscopic full thickness resection
Meet the Team

Meet our advanced endoscopy specialists below. Dr. Joyce is the Director of Endoscopy and Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship Program Director.

Request an Appointment

If you or your physician want to contact us or schedule an appointment, please call 781-744-8029. Outside records should be faxed to 781-744-5669.

For urgent procedures, please contact us via our dedicated advanced endoscopy phone line.

Colon Cancer Screening Center

Cancer of the colon or rectum causes more than 50,000 deaths each year in the U.S. These cancers may not cause symptoms in their early stages, so regular screenings are essential. Screening can catch cancer early, when it’s easier to treat. In many cases it can stop colon or rectum cancer before it starts.

Most people should start colon cancer screening at age 50. If you have risk factors, such as a family history of colorectal cancer, your provider may want you to start screenings earlier.

We understand that people are often anxious about having a colonoscopy or other test that can seem intrusive. The team at our Colon Cancer Screening Center is committed to making the process as easy and comfortable as possible. We use the latest tools and techniques and we take the time to make sure you understand each step.

Detecting Colon Cancer

Most cancers of the colon and rectum begin as non-cancerous growths called polyps. If your provider finds a polyp during a colonoscopy, he or she can remove it during the same procedure. If the polyp is cancerous, or if there are other signs of cancer, starting treatment right away often leads to a cure.

If you have a polyp or abnormal tissue removed during a screening test, we develop a timeline for future testing to catch any recurrence early. Our team will design your surveillance schedule to fit your specific needs and goals.

Treating Colon Cancer

Your care for colorectal cancer comes from an expert team that focuses specifically on this type of cancer. Our patients benefit from the extensive expertise of the radiologists, surgical oncologists, colorectal surgeons and others at Lahey’s Cancer Institute.

Types of Screening Tests

As more and more people in the U.S. get screened for colon and rectal cancer, death rates for these cancers continue to drop. Screening at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center includes traditional, highly effective tests as well as advanced techniques. Your provider will work with you to determine which options are best for your age, risks and other factors. He or she may recommend one or more of these tests:

  • Colonoscopy. This is the most common procedure for screening and diagnosing colon cancer. Your provider uses a thin, flexible tube with a light and tiny camera at the end to examine the rectum and entire length of the colon. He or she can remove any polyps or abnormal tissue for testing in the lab.
  • Stool tests. Stool tests are an alternative to colonoscopy for those patients who are unable to undergo a colonoscopy. Cancer can cause bleeding in the colon or rectum. This can be detected by sending a sample of your stool to the lab for testing. Most stool tests can be done at home with a special kit. They include a stool DNA test, a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) and a fecal occult blood test (FOBT).
Endoscopy Center

Endoscopy allows our providers to view the inside of your digestive tract, including your esophagus, stomach and intestines. The team at our Endoscopy Center has the skills and the experience to perform these tests with minimum discomfort. And our advanced technologies give us the ability to do a wide range of screenings, diagnostic tests and treatments.

Comprehensive Services

An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera at the end. Your provider passes it through your mouth into your esophagus to look for abnormalities. Endoscopes can also be passed through the anus to examine the colon and rectum.

Our team will begin your procedure by explaining each step and answering your questions. Whether you’re having a routine screening or an advanced treatment, we listen to your concerns and put you at ease.

Here are some of our endoscopic procedures:

  • Colonoscopy
  • Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (EGD)
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
  • Esophageal motility
  • 24-hour esophageal pH
  • Capsule endoscopy
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Rectal ultrasound
  • Small bowel enteroscopy
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Dilation of esophageal strictures
  • Pneumatic bag dilation for achalasia
  • Esophageal, duodenal and colonic stent placement
  • Injection sclerotherapy for esophageal varices
  • Hemostasis for gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Percutaneous endoscopic gastrotomy (PEG) feeding tube
  • Radiofrequency ablation for Barrett's esophagus
  • Endoscopic mucosal resection for early cancers
  • Per oral endoscopic myotomy or POEM for achalasia
Esophageal Motility Center

Our endoscopy services also include motility testing. These tests help diagnose heartburn, GERD and other problems with the way food moves through the esophagus. The team at our Esophageal Motility Center uses advanced tests such as:

  • Ambulatory esophageal pH study. This test uses a catheter inserted into your esophagus to track acid reflux symptoms over 24 hours, as you go about your day. We also use a small device called a Bravo capsule for this test.
  • Esophageal impedance study. With this study, a thin catheter attached to a recording device at your waist measures liquid or gas reflux over 24 hours, during your normal activities.
  • High resolution esophageal manometry. This uses a thin catheter to measure the pressure in your esophagus as you swallow.
Services on Your Schedule

We understand that when you have digestive symptoms, you want answers quickly. With our Endoscopy on Demand service, your primary care provider can order your endoscopy test and you can schedule it at a convenient time. That way the results will be ready for your consultation with a specialist, saving you time and worry.