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Posts for: September, 2015

September 16, 2015
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Did you know? When you eat something, the food doesn't simply fall through your esophagus and into your stomach. The muscles in your esophagus constrict and relax in a wavelike manner called peristalsis, pushing the food down through the small canal and into the stomach.

Because of peristalsis, even if you were to eat while hanging upside down, the food would still be able to get to your stomach.

 


September 16, 2015
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Researchers describe using endoscopy to remove an upper gastrointestinal obstruction caused by deliberate ingestion of illicit drug packets in the July issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Timothy Cowan et al report the case of a 30 year old man in police custody after ingesting a plastic bag containing methamphetamine. The patient complained of esophageal pain and was unable to swallow fluids, including his own saliva.

Computed tomography (CT) showed the bag lodged in his mid-esophagus (arrow, left side of figure).

The physicians performed endoscopy under general anesthesia 5 hrs after the patient ingested the bag, and confirmed complete esophageal obstruction (right side of figure).

The undamaged plastic bag was entirely removed using forceps and a Roth Net retriever.

The patient did not develop significant methamphetamine toxicity and was discharged from the hospital 24 hours after the procedure.
Cowan et al state that esophageal obstruction appears to be a rare complication of body stuffing (swallowing drugs in an unplanned attempt to escape police discovery)  or packing (swallowing large amounts of well-packaged drugs to transport them internationally).
The authors propose a role for endoscopy in treating cases of upper gastrointestinal obstruction caused by swallowed drug packets.

Courtesy: AGA Journals

 


September 16, 2015
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How HALO Radiofrequency Ablation is performed?

While a patient is under conscious sedation, a gastroenterologist will insert an endoscope, or a small flexible tube, into the patient’s mouth. Depending on the extent of diseased tissue, the physician will choose one of two ablation catheters to attach to the end of the endoscope: a balloon-mounted catheter (HALO360) or an endoscope-mounted catheter (HALO90). 

The HALO360 catheter has a balloon at its tip that is covered by a band of radiofrequency electrodes and is used to treat larger areas of Barrett’s tissue. The gastroenterologist guides the endoscope so the electrode-covered balloon is on the treatment area, inflates the balloon and delivers a very short burst of controlled radiofrequency energy--for less than one second--to remove Barrett’s tissue. For smaller areas, the doctor will position the HALO90 catheter and its electrode on the diseased area of the esophagus to deliver the energy.


Cells along the inner wall of the stomach secrete roughly 2 liters (0.5 gallons) of hydrochloric acid each day, which helps kill bacteria and aids in digestion. If hydrochloric acid sounds familiar to you, it may be because the powerful chemical is commonly used to remove rust and scale from steel sheets and coils, and is also found in some cleaning supplies, including toilet-bowl cleaners.

To protect itself from the corrosive acid, the stomach lining has a thick coating of mucus. But this mucus can't buffer the digestive juices indefinitely, so the stomach produces a new coat of mucus every two weeks.

 


September 04, 2015
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The artificial sweetener perhaps most associated with digestive problems is sorbitol. It is a hard-to-digest sugar found naturally in some fruits, including prunes, apples, and peaches, and is also used to sweeten gum and diet foods. Once sorbitol reaches the large intestine, it often creates gas, bloating, and diarrhea. If you have diarrhea, read food labels so that you can avoid sorbitol.


An empty stomach allows for the best and safest examination, so you should have nothing to eat or drink, including water, for approximately 12 hours before the examination. Your doctor will tell you when to start fasting.

Speak with your doctor in advance about any medications or supplements you take, including iron, aspirin, bismuth subsalicylate products and other “over-the-counter” medications. You might need to adjust your usual dose prior to the examination.




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