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Those experiencing difficulty swallowing and other esophageal motility disorders may be candidates for a new procedure now performed by gastroenterologists at the Digestive Health Center at USA Health in Mobile.

Published Nov 16th, 2020

By Casandra Andrews
candrews@health.southalabama.edu

Those experiencing difficulty swallowing and other esophageal motility disorders may be candidates for a new procedure now performed by gastroenterologists at the Digestive Health Center at USA Health in Mobile.

Several successful cases were completed using the EndoFLIP procedure on Nov. 9 and 12, said Benjamin Niland, M.D., interim division chief of gastroenterology at USA Health and assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

EndoFLIP stands for endolumenal functional lumen imaging probe.

“Everything went great,” said Niland, who led procedures using the endoscopically placed medical device. “From the perspective of a patient, undergoing a diagnostic EndoFLIP is very similar to the experience of having an upper endoscopy.”

Using the device allows physicians to see the dynamic movements of the esophagus.

Among its benefits, the EndoFLIP system helps physicians minimize patient discomfort. The advanced imaging technology also provides an internal view of the gastroesophageal junction during endoscopic procedures, allowing for real-time measurements of the pressure and dimensions of the esophagus that help identify issues related to swallowing disorders.

EndoFLIP can help find the cause of difficulty swallowing in patients with suspected achalasia, a rare disorder that makes it difficult for food and liquid to pass into the stomach, or in those who have issues swallowing after surgery for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). EndoFLIP also can be used to perform a therapeutic dilation for certain patients with achalasia, without the need for X-rays.

In August 2020, USA Health celebrated the opening of the Gastroenterology Endoscopy Lab at USA Health University Hospital. The 8,000-square-foot space boasts leading-edge equipment and will reduce wait times and expedite patient care. New equipment includes high-definition monitors and state-of-the-art scopes to best detect polyps and advanced lesions.

USA Health has a long history of providing excellent specialty digestive healthcare in an academic medical setting on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

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