A Surgery-Free Approach to Digestive Disease Care

Endoscopy — the use of a long, flexible tube with a camera at its tip to peer inside the body — has been used to help doctors assess and diagnose disorders of the digestive tract. Interventional advances in endoscopy make it possible not only to see what's going on but to treat the disorder. Specialists at NewYork-Presbyterian have extraordinary expertise and experience performing the full spectrum of advanced endoscopic procedures to diagnose and treat digestive tract disorders. Our interventional endoscopists have used these procedures to treat people with a range of gastrointestinal problems, restore their comfort and function, and improve their quality of life.

How endoscopy works

A scope is gently inserted down the patient's throat to see the area of interest within the digestive tract during standard endoscopy. Interventional endoscopy takes this approach further by incorporating other equipment the doctor can use to open up obstructions, drain fluid, or destroy abnormal tissue. The patient receives sedation during the procedure to ensure comfort. Interventional endoscopy has gone from a technique once used to diagnose and stage disease to one we can now use to treat patients. Treatments that were once only possible through surgery can now be done with no external incisions.

Can interventional endoscopy help me?

NewYork-Presbyterian physicians often use interventional endoscopy to open up obstructions in the ducts linking the liver with the intestine and gallbladder and ducts coming from the pancreas. These obstructions can cause significant pain, jaundice (yellowing of the skin), and other symptoms, such as fever and itchy skin, which impair quality of life. You may develop these obstructions if you have certain cancers — including bile duct cancer and pancreatic cancer — or acute or chronic pancreatitis (short-term or long-term inflammation of the pancreas). Interventional endoscopy procedures are also used to treat:

  • Barrett's esophagus, a precancer of the esophagus which can turn into esophageal cancer if left untreated
  • Obesity in people who cannot have or choose not to have weight loss surgery, through the use of endoscopic weight loss procedures
  • Difficult polyps and superficial cancers in the digestive tract
  • Achalasia, a swallowing problem when the esophagus does not function properly
  • Gastroparesis, a functional problem where the stomach cannot empty effectively
  • Stones in the bile ducts and pancreatic ducts

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Center for Advanced Digestive Care

NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine

Division of Digestive and Liver Disease


NewYork-Presbyterian Westchester (formerly Lawrence Hospital)

NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital