The gastrointestinal tract (also known as your GI tract) includes the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines and rectum. It also includes organs that assist in digestion - the liver, gallbladder and pancreas. While most people have experienced some form of GI discomfort in their lives, Carle Digestive Health experts can help you determine when random discomfort becomes a cause for concern.
Colorectal Cancer Screening
Research shows people who have routine colorectal screenings have better treatment results and increased cancer survival rates. The most common outpatient screening method is a colonoscopy, which is completed in a hospital or clinic location. For average risk patients a colonoscopy can be completed every 10 years. This type of screening looks at the inside of the colon and rectum for any abnormal areas that might be cancer or polyps. During a colonoscopy, the doctor looks at the entire length of the colon and rectum with a colonoscope, a flexible tube about the width of a finger with a light and small video camera on the end. Special instruments can be passed through the colonoscope to biopsy (take a sample) or remove any suspicious-looking areas such as polyps, if needed. This test requires a bowel prep regimen prior to the appointment. Patients are typically sedated during the procedure, in which case you will need someone to drive you home.
While colonoscopies are the most common screening tool used to detect colorectal cancer, there are noninvasive at-home screening options available as well. Check with your primary care doctor to see if you would be a good candidate for an at-home colorectal screening like FIT or Cologuard®. Your doctor will determine the best screening option for you based on your risk level for colorectal cancer.
The Carle Digestive Health Institute also provides a wide variety of procedures and techniques to help diagnose digestive health conditions using esophageal manometry and impedence, video capsule endoscopy, double balloon enteroscopy, and even fecal transplants when needed.
The surgeons and support team at Carle use many surgical services to care for the whole patient. Advancements in technology led to the development of minimally invasive techniques. In addition to the traditional gastrointestinal (GI) operations, our skilled colorectal surgeons are experienced in performing a wide range of robotic and laparoscopic surgeries.
Digestive Health Support Groups
From support groups to additional team members – including physical therapists, registered dieticians, social workers and more – our patients are never alone. Our collective knowledge and teamwork is a great resource for patients throughout the treatment and/or recovery process.
Facilitated by Digestive Health staff and practitioners, we offer monthly ostomy and inflammatory bowel disease support groups for patients and family members to learn more about their conditions and connect with people in similar situations. Both groups are free and open to all patients, regardless of where you receive treatment. Contact (217) 383-3610 to learn more about upcoming Ostomy and IBD support groups.
For information related to preparing for your inpatient or outpatient DHI procedure, visit the Carle Digestive Health Tools and Instructions page.
Gastroenterology and Hepatology
With doctors practicing in 80 specialties at locations throughout the region, it’s easy to find the right healthcare team at Carle. Our mission is to serve people through high quality care, medical research and education.