Franciscan Endoscopy Center's physicians and nurses provide the highest level of care and a wide variety of procedures, most commonly upper endoscopy and colonoscopy.
Upper endoscopy and colonoscopy both are methods of obtaining a direct visualization inside the body with a scope. We commonly perform upper endoscopies to safely and effectively examine the gastrointestinal tract and to access it for therapeutic procedures.
Franciscan Health System operates state-of-the-art GI facilities in its six hospitals: St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood, St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way, St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw, St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor and Highline Medical Center in Burien.
Upper endoscopy and colonoscopy both are methods of obtaining a direct visualization inside the body with a scope. We commonly perform upper endoscopies to safely and effectively examine the gastrointestinal tract and to access it for therapeutic procedures. Colonoscopies allow us to view the colon for screening, as well as diagnosis and treatment of various conditions.
In addition, through our hepatobiliary center, we use a combination of endoscopic and radiologic techniques to view and treat the biliary and pancreatic ducts. We also routinely provide nursing support to our cardiologists for transesophageal echocardiograms and pulmonologists for bronchoscopies.
Answers to Common Questions about Your GI Procedure (PDF)
St. Joseph Advanced Endoscopy Center
The St. Joseph Advanced Endoscopy Center not only features state-of-the-art equipment, but also skilled staff with specific expertise in advanced endoscopic procedures. The center boasts capabilities previously available only in large university training centers.
The Center's staff is comprised of experienced, committed physicians and hospital nurses who work together to promote quality and compassionate care. The physicians have learned the latest advanced endoscopic techniques and are committed to performing these tests at the highest clinical standards. Nursing personnel have been specifically trained in advanced techniques and are uniquely qualified to assist in these specialized procedures. The center's nursing staff and endoscopic physicians are joined by local radiologists and pathologists to create a comprehensive team to expertly perform advanced endoscopy.
Advanced endoscopic procedures utilize specialized endoscopes that allow diagnostic and therapeutic evaluation of diseases of the biliary and pancreatic systems as well as accurate cancer staging.
Specifically, two advanced endoscopic procedures are performed at the center:
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography (ERCP). This procedure allows for precise evaluation and treatment of problems relating to the bile ducts and the pancreatic duct. It involves radiologic imaging during endoscopic interventions. Specific expertise in this procedure is required to optimize success and minimize complications.
Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS).
This technique utilizes an ultra high-frequency ultrasound probe on the tip of the endoscope that allows high-resolution internal imaging of the bile ducts, liver, pancreas, stomach, esophagus and colon. It has also been shown to be very helpful in lung cancer staging. Tissue samples can be taken during EUS with standby assistance from pathology.