What is Confocal Endomicroscopy?
Have you recently been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or Barrett’s esophagus? IBD refers to conditions such as Crohn’s disease and colitis that cause long-term inflammation of the digestive system, causing everything from weight loss and abdominal pain to severe diarrhea. In order to evaluate and even monitor the health of the digestive system, it is sometimes important for our gastroenterologist Dr. Kamran Ayub to run diagnostic testing. One common type of diagnostic procedure is called confocal endomicroscopy.
What makes confocal endomicroscopy a valuable tool for our gastroenterology team is that this advanced technology allows us to detect and evaluate the presence of dysplasia (abnormal development or changes within the tissue) at a cellular and vascular level. This is a great tool for being able to detect precancerous and cancerous cells within the digestive tract, and an endoscopy allows us to view all organs within the digestive system such as the esophagus, stomach, intestines, colon and biliary tract.
Confocal endomicroscopy can also be used to diagnose Barrett’s esophagus, a serious complication of long-term GERD that causes the lining of the esophagus to resemble the lining of the intestines due to severe acid damage. In other instances, an endomicroscopy can detect colorectal cancer in those with inflammatory bowel diseases. Other uses include the diagnosis of gastric cancer, celiac disease and colon polyps.
During an endoscopy, conscious sedation is often administered to help reduce discomfort and help the patient feel calm and relaxed. Then a thin flexible tube is inserted in the throat and slowly and carefully guided into the digestive tract where images are captured. Since a confocal endomicroscopy is incredibly sensitive, it means that it will be able to pick up the smallest changes or issues within the digestive system.
This advanced technology allows our gastrointestinal team to be able to capture precise images of living tissue within the body for an immediate and accurate diagnosis. Early detection is key and could prevent a variety of long-term digestive complications. Plus, once we know what’s going on and we make a diagnosis we will be able to sit down with you and discuss what treatment option or options are best for you.
If you have questions about the diagnostic procedures and services we offer here in Oak Lawn, Joliet and New Lenox, IL, don’t hesitate to call one of our three offices for a consultation. We also serve patients in Frankfort, Orland Park, and Burr Ridge, IL. Call one of our offices at (708) 475-5233 today!