Digestive Health

Turn to UNC Health Johnston for expert diagnosis and care of conditions that affect your digestive system. Our partnership with REX Digestive Healthcare means you have access to experienced gastroenterologists with advanced, post-fellowship training. Visit our Medical Arts Pavilion in Smithfield for a wide range of procedures and treatments close to your home in Johnston County.

Gastrointestinal (GI) Conditions

Talk to your doctor if symptoms of a digestive condition affect your daily life. Trust our providers to identify and treat:

GI Tests

Check the health of your digestive tract with tests that use the latest technology and techniques:

  • Breath testing – Analyzes your breath to diagnose conditions that could cause digestive problems, including lactose or fructose intolerance or bacterial overgrowth
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) – Uses an endoscope (thin tube with a camera) and X-rays to diagnose and treat conditions in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, or pancreas
  • Endoscopic ultrasound – Uses sound waves to make detailed pictures inside and outside the digestive tract, allowing your physician to take samples for testing to diagnose and stage certain cancers
  • Esophageal manometry – Checks for pressure or movement problems in the esophagus that could make it hard to swallow
  • Esophageal pH reflux test – Measures how much stomach acid flows into the esophagus
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy – Checks the health of the rectum and part of the colon, looking for signs of inflammation, abnormal growths, or ulcers
  • PillCam® – Creates and sends images of the esophagus, small bowel, and colon to your physician with a small, disposable pill that contains a tiny camera
  • Small bowel enteroscopy – Looks for health problems, including bleeding, with a long endoscope (thin tube with a camera) your doctor guides through the small intestine
  • Upper GI endoscopy – Checks the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine with a lighted, flexible tube to find the cause of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, swallowing problems, gastric reflux, and other symptoms

Imaging Technology

You benefit from modern equipment in the hands of experts. If your procedure uses imaging technology to create pictures of the inside of the body, skilled physicians will use their years of expertise to analyze the images. That means you get accurate, timely information about your health.

GI Treatments

Depending on your test results, your doctor may recommend a treatment such as:

  • Endoluminal stenting – Treats blockages in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) – Restores healthy bacteria balance in the gut to treat C. diff.
  • Gastrostomy tube (G-tube) placement – Places a feeding tube in the body so you can receive nutrition therapy
  • Hemorrhoid banding – Places a rubber band around the base of a hemorrhoid to cut off blood flow, causing it to shrink and fall off
  • REMICADE® treatment – Reduces symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis through an intravenous (IV) infusion of medication

Colorectal Cancer Screening

A colonoscopy can help find signs of colorectal cancer early, when it’s easier to treat. During a colonoscopy, a doctor uses a long, thin, flexible tube to check the health of the rectum and colon. Your doctor can look for signs of potential problems, such as:

  • Bleeding
  • Polyps, small growths that may turn into cancer
  • Tissue inflammation
  • Ulcers

Your doctor will remove any abnormal growths or tissue for testing. Learn more about colorectal cancer, risk factors, and screenings.

When Should I Get My First Colonoscopy?

Talk to your doctor about when to start and how often to get colonoscopies. Most people should get them starting at age 45.

How to Prepare

Getting ready for the colonoscopy can take one or two days. During this time, you must fully empty your bowels. Talk to your doctor about your laxative and diet options. Rest assured, your safety is our top priority before, during, and after the colonoscopy.

Coordinated Care

If you need other services at UNC Health Johnston, such as nutrition counseling, your care team will refer you and help coordinate your care, so your experience is as smooth as possible.

Talk to Your Doctor

If your doctor refers you to UNC Health Johnston for a gastrointestinal procedure, ask your doctor’s office to schedule an appointment for you.

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