The world's smallest microscope is at work at St. Anthony Hospital, the first hospital in the state using Cellvizio, making it possible for physicians to view internal tissues at the cellular level, and in real-time, during endoscopies, colonoscopies, pancreatic, and pulmonary exams.
Our Cellvizio Microscope is a miniature microscope that goes inside the body to help doctors focus right on cells, detect cancer faster and make treatment decisions in real time. Cellvizio provides the most advanced diagnosis and treatment option for people who suffer from:
- Chronic acid reflux (GERD)or Barrett's Esophagus
- A history of colorectal polyps or Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Signs of a blockage in the bile duct
- Signs of lung cancer or lung disease
This cell-by-cell view allows them to pinpoint cancerous and pre-cancerous tissue more effectively so that affected tissue can be removed immediately or a surgical course set with confidence.
Without Cellvizio technology, when an endoscopic procedure identifies areas that appear abnormal, a random tissue sample is taken and sent to a laboratory for analysis, a process that is often imprecise, inefficient and can take up to a week for results, requiring patients needing additional therapeutic procedures to come in at a later date. At St. Anthony Hospital, physicians using Cellvizio, have a tool that can diagnose or rule out a problem during a diagnostic exam - and then treat the problem as fast as possible without the need to come back for a separate procedure.
The images provided by the Cellvizio system enable physicians to evaluate suspicious and potentially cancerous tissue and immediately differentiate between normal and abnormal cells, so they can treat the patient immediately and often offer the patient less invasive, targeted treatment options.
HALO for Barret's Esophagus
For those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) who experience gastric acid moving upward from the stomach, inflaming the esophagus, it's not only painful, but can lead to other serious health problems. Untreated GERD can cause the lower portion of the digestive pathway to narrow, bleed and even change from esophagus tissue to intestinal tissue. This change, called intestinal metaplasia or Barrett's esophagus, can lead to cancer.
Specialists on staff at St. Anthony Hospital are now able to remove the pre-cancerous tissue nonsurgically so that a normal esophagus lining can be re-established. The innovative method-called the BarrX TM HALO procedure uses radiofrequency ablation delivered directly to the precancerous area by endoscope. The radiofrequency waves "superheat" the abnormal cells, causing them to die and slough off.
What is the treatment option using HALO technology?
"Ablation" (or coagulation) is a technique where tissue is heated until it is no longer viable or alive. Physicians have used various forms of ablation for nearly a century to treat a number of cancerous and precancerous conditions, as well as to control bleeding. The HALO ablation technology is a very specific type of ablation, in which heat energy is delivered in a precise and highly-controlled manner.
Barrett's esophagus tissue is very thin and is therefore a good candidate for removal with ablative energy. Delivery of ablative energy with the HALO ablation technology is therefore capable of achieving complete removal of the diseased tissue without damage to the normal underlying structures.
Ablation therapy is performed in conjunction with upper endoscopy. The treatment is performed in an outpatient setting and no incisions are involved. While the actual procedure time in clinical studies has been approximately less than 28 minutes, there is needed preparation prior to the start of the procedure, and patients are monitored for a specific time afterwards. A patient should ask the physician or nurse practitioner for more information on where the procedure is performed and the time required for the procedure.
Successful elimination of the Barrett's esophagus tissue does not cure pre-existing GERD or the associated symptoms. The physician will guide the patient regarding long-term GERD therapy.
Standard GI procedures include:
- EGD (esophagealgastroduodenoscopy, an upper GI scope)
- ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) under fluoroscopy for biliary pancreatic disorders
- Gastronomy tube (feeding tube) placement
- Banding of esophageal varices (dilated blood vessels within the wall of the esophagus)
- Botox® injections for treatment of achalasia (decreased motility of esophagus)
Advanced GI Procedures offered at St. Anthony Hospital:
- Cellvizio® - The world's world's smallest microscope allows physicians to diagnose and treat cancerous and pre-cancerous tissue more effectively.
- BarrX TM HALO procedure for treatment of Barrett's Esophagus
- Endoscopic ultrasounds
- Small bowel capsule endoscopy (where the patient swallows a capsule containing a tiny camera to capture images of the small bowel)
- Esophageal manometry studies (for swallowing disorders)
- Anorectal motility studies (to determine the cause of anorectal sphincter dysfunction)
- Bravo pH monitoring (to evaluate GERD or reflux)
- Small bowel enteroscopy
- Sphincter of Oddi manometry (performed in conjunction with ERCPs to diagnose Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction)
- Argon plasma coagulation (to stop all sources of GI bleeding)