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Esophageal and Stomach Disorders Diagnosis and Treatment

You receive a detailed diagnosis and compassionate, expert care from our team for any esophageal or stomach disorder. Whether you have a routine concern or are facing a cancer diagnosis, we can help.

Diagnostic tests for esophageal and stomach conditions

At Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, we offer the latest tests to diagnose any type of esophageal or stomach condition, including:

Capsule endoscopy

Our team is one of the few in the region to offer capsule endoscopy, which takes thousands of pictures of your digestive tract in a noninvasive way. You swallow a small capsule (pill) equipped with a camera, which moves through your digestive tract. We use capsule endoscopy to diagnose esophageal conditions, stomach ulcers and other gastrointestinal issues.

Endoscopic ultrasound

Our skilled team uses endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) to diagnose conditions affecting your esophagus and stomach. EUS uses ultrasound imaging inside your esophagus to collect images that aren’t possible with external ultrasound.

High-resolution esophageal manometry

This test measures how the muscles in your esophagus work and helps diagnose achalasia, esophageal spasm and scleroderma. Our specialists use the latest high-resolution imaging to get detailed images for an accurate diagnosis.

Esophogram (Barium swallow test)

An esophagogram helps our specialists diagnose various esophageal conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and esophageal strictures. During this test, you swallow a solution made with barium, which coats your esophagus and lights up on X-rays. Then, we take multiple X-rays of your esophagus, stomach and upper small intestine.

Hydrogen breath tests

We are among the few in the Pacific Northwest offering hydrogen breath tests. These noninvasive tests help our specialists diagnose digestive problems and food intolerances. We offer several different breath tests and choose the best one based on your symptoms and health history.

Imaging tests

Our gastroenterologists work with specialists in our Imaging and Radiology Department to provide the full range of imaging tests, including:

  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • PET/CT scans

Upper GI endoscopy

During an upper GI endoscopy, we guide an endoscope (thin tube with a camera) through your mouth and throat. This procedure allows our specialists to diagnose many esophageal and stomach conditions with high accuracy and detail.

Esophageal and stomach treatments

  • Our team includes highly trained endoscopists who perform advanced procedures that aren’t widely available. Our techniques include:

    • Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR): Our specialists use this advanced technique to treat Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer without traditional surgery.
    • Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD): We are among the few centers in the U.S. to provide ESD, which requires a high degree of precision and skill. Our specialists treat many cases of Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal cancer and stomach cancer with ESD.

    Our endoscopic techniques allow us to use minimally invasive methods for conditions that may require major surgery elsewhere. Learn more about advanced endoscopy at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health.

  • Esophageal cancers often require surgery to remove the cancerous cells. You may also need surgery if medications or other therapies cannot fully treat the condition. Our thoracic surgeons are among the most experienced and respected on the West Coast and perform a high volume of complex esophageal surgeries. Learn more about thoracic surgery.

  • We are a high-volume center for complex cases of gastroparesis and are among the few in the region to provide the gastric pacemaker. Also known as a gastric stimulation device, the gastric pacemaker tells your stomach to empty at certain times.

    One of our experienced surgeons implants the gastric pacemaker in your stomach and programs it according to your needs. After your surgery, our gastroenterologists provide long-term follow-up care and can adjust your pacemaker through a remote device.

  • The right medications can treat many digestive conditions and improve your quality of life. Our gastroenterology team carefully evaluates your health history and symptoms to provide the most effective medication for your needs. We also offer many new, emerging medications through our research and clinical trials.

  • Our gastroenterologists provide specialized nutrition guidance to help you manage digestive conditions. We work closely with registered dietitians to create a plan that fits your unique health needs and lifestyle.

  • If you need surgery for a benign tumor or stomach cancer, we coordinate your care with skilled general surgeons and Cancer Care experts. We provide seamless care between all our specialties so you can focus on healing, not coordinating appointments.

Find an esophageal specialist

Meet our team of esophageal specialists and find a specialist who’s right for you.