Blood and stool tests
Blood and stool tests are often run as one of the first diagnostic exams when a doctor suspects Crohn’s disease. These test cannot be used alone to diagnose Crohn’s, but they are helpful in ruling out other causes of similar symptoms. The doctor will check for anemia and signs of infection in the blood, as well as hidden blood in the stool. The doctor will rule out bacterial infections or parasitic infections that could also cause inflammation of the bowels.
An upper endoscopy is a test where your doctor uses a long, flexible tube with a camera to examine the upper GI tract. The upper tract includes the esophagus (the food pipe), the stomach, and the first part of the small intestine (the duodenum). It is also called an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (or EGD for short).
Your doctor will take pictures to show you if there is inflammation. Your doctor will probably also take biopsies (or small tissue samples) to look for inflammation under the microscope.
In most cases, your will be fully asleep during your upper endoscopy. The procedure is not painful. You will be taken care of by the entire endoscopy team including pediatric nurses, pediatric anesthesia doctors, child life specialists and your gastroenterologist.
Double Balloon Enteroscopy
This is a revolutionary, but lengthy, procedure that allows the doctor to thoroughly examine the small intestine (which is difficult to visualize with other endoscopic techniques). A balloon attached to an endoscope repeatedly inflates and deflates to push the endoscope deep into the small intestine. Biopsies (small tissue samples) can be taken during this procedure and abnormal tissues can be removed.
A colonoscopy is a test where the doctor inserts a tube (called a colonoscope) into the rectum to examine the large intestine and the last part of the small intestine. This is the most important and useful exam to diagnose Crohn’s disease, because it gives full visualization of the colon and rectum. The doctor can take pictures and small tissue samples (biopsies) to look for inflammation.
The procedure is not painful and you will be asleep during the procedure. You will be taken care of by the entire endoscopy team including pediatric nurses, pediatric anesthesia doctors, child life specialists and your gastroenterologist.
On the day before the colonoscopy, you will need to drink medicines to help you get rid of most of the stool in your intestines. This helps the doctor see the lining of your bowel. You will need to eat lighter meals on the day before, using instructions from our office. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions.
A flexible sigmoidoscopy can be thought of as a partial colonoscopy. It allows the doctor to closely examine the sigmoid colon, which is the last part of the colon (closest to the rectum and anus).
Capsule/ Pill Endoscopy
A capsule endoscopy is a test to look for inflammation in the small intestine. Even if an upper endoscopy and colonoscopy have been completed, most of the small intestine has not been examined. This is a test that allows for the small intestine to be examined fully.
A pill endoscopy is usually done after someone has an upper endoscopy and colonoscopy. Not all patients need to have a pill endoscopy.
For a capsule endoscopy, the patient swallows a pill that contains a wireless camera. This camera captures images of the small intestine. It is different than the other tests (described above) because no tissue samples can be taken during a capsule endoscopy.
The pill is swallowed in the morning, and the patient wears a battery pack on his/her belt to record pictures. You return to the office later that day to bring back the battery pack but not the pill.