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NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center - Center for Advanced Digestive Care

Click on a letter of the alphabet below to view a list of procedures:


Capsule Endoscopy

Patients unable to tolerate endoscopy may receive a capsule endoscopy, a non-invasive method that uses a small camera the size of a pill, which the patient swallows. The "camera pill" transmits photos to a recording device as it travels through the esophagus. The pill is later excreted.


In this procedure, dye (contrast) is deposited so that the bile duct structures can be viewed by x-ray.


Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to treat cancerous cells. Chemotherapy has been used for many years and is one of the most common treatments for cancer. In most cases, chemotherapy works by interfering with the cancer cell's ability to grow or reproduce. Different groups of drugs work in different ways to fight cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be used alone for some types of cancer or in combination with other treatments such as radiation or surgery. Often, a combination of chemotherapy drugs is used to fight a specific cancer. Certain chemotherapy drugs may be given in a specific order depending on the type of cancer it is being used to treat.

While chemotherapy can be quite effective in treating certain cancers, chemotherapy drugs reach all parts of the body, not just the cancer cells. Because of this, there may be many side effects during treatment. The ability to anticipate these side effects can help patients and caregivers prepare and, in some cases, prevent these symptoms from occurring.

Chemotherapy can be given:

  • as a pill to swallow
  • as an injection into the muscle or fat tissue
  • intravenously (directly to the bloodstream; also called IV)
  • topically (applied to the skin)
  • directly into a body cavity
  • To reduce the damage to healthy cells and to give them a chance to recover, chemotherapy is given in cycles. Chemotherapy may be given daily, weekly, every few weeks, or monthly, depending on a patient's specific situation.


A colonoscope is a type of endoscope that is inserted through the anus into the colon. It can be used to diagnose a tumor in the lower section of the digestive system.


a colonoscopy is a procedure that allows the physician to view the entire length of the large intestine, and can often help identify abnormal growths (polyps), inflamed tissue, ulcers, and bleeding. It involves inserting a colonoscope -- a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera at the end -- through the rectum up into the colon. The colonoscope allows the physician to see the lining of the colon, remove tissue for further examination, and possibly treat some problems that are discovered. Patients are sedated during this procedure, which typically takes 20-30 minutes. Preparation for a colonoscopy may include a liquid diet several days prior to the procedure, a laxative the night before, and an enema the day of the procedure.

Colorectal Transit Study

This test shows how well food moves through the colon. The patient swallows capsules containing small markers, which are visible on x-ray. The patient follows a high-fiber diet during the course of the test, and the movement of the markers through the colon is monitored with abdominal x-rays taken several times three to seven days after the capsule is swallowed.


a colostomy is a surgically created opening in the abdomen through which a small portion of the colon is brought up to the surface of the skin to function as an anus. Sometimes, a temporary colostomy may be performed when part of the colon has been removed and the rest of the colon needs to heal.

Computed Tomography Scan (CT or CAT scan)

a CT or CAT scan is a diagnostic imaging procedure using a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce both horizontal and vertical cross-sectional images of the body (often called slices). a CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general x-rays.

Core Needle Biopsy

A core biopsy uses a needle slightly larger than what is commonly used for a "fine needle aspiration" to obtain a cylinder of tissue. It is often done instead of fine needle aspiration biopsy because it provides more tissue for the pathologist to review.

CT Colonography

CT colonography is a procedure used for the screening of colorectal cancer. The test involves an examination of the colon and rectum using pictures obtained with a CT (CAT) scanner. Prior to the procedure, patients will need to take a preparation to cleanse the colon, such as laxatives and/or enemas. The physician will prescribe a special diet, often clear liquids, for the day prior to the examination.

At the beginning of the test, a small flexible tube will be inserted into the rectum to introduce gas into the colon. The CT scanner takes a series of 2- and 3-dimensional images of the colon and rectum showing any polyps or potential signs of cancer. The scanning procedure itself takes approximately 5 minutes and does not require sedation. If a polyp or other abnormality is discovered during the CT colonography, a colonoscopy will likely be required to biopsy or remove the abnormality. In some situations, patients may be able to have the colonoscopy on the same day.