Diagnosing and treating digestive tract issues with advanced endoscopy.

At Charles River Medical Associates’ fully equipped, state-of-the-art endoscopy center, we provide thorough evaluation and treatment of the digestive tract. By using a camera mounted on a flexible tube — together called an endoscope — our gastroenterologists can take biopsies of questionable tissue, remove small growths (polyps), and identify diseases not visible on an X-ray or through other medical imaging techniques.

The two main procedures performed at the Charles River Endoscopy Center are upper endoscopies (esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD) and lower endoscopies (colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy). Because your satisfaction, comfort and results are our top priorities, it’s important that you follow all preparation instructions and notify the doctor performing your procedure of any concerns, allergies or health problems.

Colonoscopies save lives. Schedule yours at Charles River Endoscopy Center.

Colorectal cancer is the third-most common cancer affecting men and women in the United States. But it’s also one of the most treatable if it’s caught early, and doing so drastically increases your five-year survival rate. The five-year survival rate for colorectal cancer is about 92%, and regular colonoscopy exams are the primary factor in the declining fatality rate of colorectal cancer. Precancerous polyps can be removed during your procedure, and biopsies can be taken that will allow us to determine if cancer has already developed.

In addition to screening for cancer, other problems related to your colon and rectum — such as ulcers, inflammation, and sources of bleeding — can be identified during a colonoscopy. If you are over the age of 50 and have not yet had a colonoscopy, talk to your doctor about setting up an exam.

Investigating and fixing your digestive abnormalities with an upper endoscopy.

An upper endoscopy or EGD examines the esophagus, stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine. Using equipment and techniques similar to a colonoscopy, you will be sedated and your throat will be numbed in order avoid triggering your gag reflex. The endoscope will then be inserted through your mouth to evaluate and look for the cause of a number of different abnormalities, including:

  • Abdominal or chest pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Bleeding
  • Swallowing problems

Signs of cancer, such as Barrett’s esophagus and polyps, can also be identified and (in the case of polyps) removed during an upper endoscopy. Like with most cancers, early detection gives you a better chance of survival. If you notice any of the abnormalities listed above, contact your doctor immediately.

Don’t neglect your preparation! It can affect your test outcome.

Preparing for your endoscopic exam is vital to the success of the procedure. For lower endoscopies, a clean and empty colon is important, as fecal matter can obscure problems from the camera and makes it difficult for your doctor to identify any potential problem areas. For an upper endoscopy, you will generally be told to avoid eating or drinking the morning before the test. In all cases, follow your doctor’s instructions. Finally, due to the medications administered during endoscopy procedures, you must arrange a ride home with a responsible adult.

Speak with your doctor about scheduling an endoscopy exam. For any other questions or more information about your procedure, please call our Endoscopy Center at (508) 665-4111.