Endoscopy: GI Procedures Made Better

We provide personal and state-of-the-art endoscopy care to each patient, using the latest approaches and technological advances.

Our team of dedicated physicians, nurses and techs provide both routine and specialized interventional endoscopy. Providers throughout the mid-Atlantic region refer patients here for the innovative procedures and high-quality patient care.

    What is Endoscopy?

    This minimally invasive procedure examines the insides of organs using a tube inserted in your body. This tube can take pictures, remove tissue and foreign objects and perform surgery. Benefits to procedures performed endoscopically include:

    • Minimal pain
    • Quick recovery time
    • Improved accuracy
    • Ability for you to avoid general anesthesia

    Types of Endoscopy

    We offer a range of diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy procedures.

    Colonoscopy

    This procedure examines the large intestine for inflammation, bleeding, ulcers or abnormal growths, such as polyps or cancer. The doctor uses a colonoscope, a small, lighted camera inside a soft, flexible tube. The procedure usually takes 30 minutes to an hour. Find out more about getting a colonoscopy.

    Upper Endoscopy

    This procedure examines the lining of the esophagus, stomach and upper duodenum for inflammation, ulcers or growths. With it we can evaluate conditions such as trouble swallowing, abdominal pain or bleeding. The doctor uses a small camera, called an endoscope, which is inserted into the mouth and guided down the throat to conduct an upper endoscopy.

    Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)

    This procedure evaluates the lining of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum as well as organs near the gastrointestinal tract, such as the pancreas, gall bladder, liver, lungs and lymph nodes. A fine-needle aspiration specimen can be obtained for diagnostic purposes. The doctor uses a thin, flexible tube with a built-in, miniature ultrasound probe for the endoscopic ultrasound procedure.

    Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

    This procedure examines the duodenum, bile ducts, gall bladder and pancreatic duct. The doctor guides a small camera, an endoscope, down the throat during the ERCP procedure.

    Interventional Endoscopy

    With interventional endoscopy, we expand the use of the technology to improve the experience and results for a range of gastrointestinal issues, from swallowing problems to cancer to large bowel obstruction. Patients come from across the country for specialized pancreatico-billiary endoscopic procedures.

    Our teams have earned national recognition as a pioneering resource for many of these procedures, which include:

    • Underwater Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR) — removes large, flat polyps from the stomach, duodenum and colon; also treats patients with dysplastic Barrett’s esophagus
    • Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection (ESD) — removes large polyps and superficial cancers from the esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum
    • External Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) – an innovative way to treat pancreatic duct stones
    • Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) and Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) — a palliative therapy for those with malignant cancer in the bile ducts or pancreas
    • Endotherapy for pancreatic fluid collections

    These specialized endoscopic techniques reduce complications and the need for hospitalization.

    Keeping You Safe While Providing the Best Care

    At UVA, we use the ENDORA® Endoscope Tracking System to make sure that each endoscope is thoroughly safe for use on the next patient. ENDORA (Endoscope Reprocessing Assurance) is an electronic documentation system that keeps track of endoscopes through each step of the cleaning and disinfecting process. It notes and verifies that each reprocessing step is complete, as well as keeps track of who has performed each step. 

    UVA's endoscopy team participates in the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy's (ASGE) Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program (EURP). The EURP is a unique, nationwide program that honors the team's commitment to delivering the highest quality and safest care through its policies, procedures and training. Endoscopy units must meet special training and practice requirements each year to be able to participate in the program. UVA is the only endoscopy unit in the Charlottesville area that participates in this special program.

    Endoscopy Locations

    You can get endoscopy care at either of our two locations:

    • Endoscopy Unit, located on the first floor of University Hospital, provides upper endoscopy, endoscopic ultrasound, ERCP, colonoscopy and specialized interventional endoscopy care.
    • UVA Endoscopy Monroe Lane, a new facility providing adult outpatient endoscopy services, including upper endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures.