Luminal GI Clinic
The GI (gastrointestinal) system is essentialy a hollow tube beginning at the mouth and leading all the way to the rectum. The inside of this tube is referred to as the "lumen" and problems any where along the inside of this hollow GI lumen may be seen in the luminal GI clinic.
This GI system is divided into different sections including the esophagus, the stomach, the small intestine (small bowel), and the colon (large bowel). Disease may occur in the lumen of any of these sections and can be evaluated in the luminal GI clinic.
Many problems in the GI lumen are very common and are considered to be general gastroenterology problems. These are dealt with by almost all gastroenterologists, as opposed to problems occuring with other solid digestive organs like the liver or pancreas, which may be dealth with by more specialized gastroenterologists.
Some of the common problems seen in the GI lumen inlcude esophageal inflammation from acid reflux and ulcers or infection in the stomach. Cancers of the esophagus, stomach, and colon are usually visible in the lumen and a variety of tests are available to examine the lumen to find these problems. These tests may include barium X-rays or CT scans, but frequently your gastroenterologist will utilize an endoscopy or colonoscopy to directly visualize the inside of your GI tract. This is a very accurate test to actually see and evaluate the inside of your intestine using a small lighted, flexible tube with a camera.
An endoscopy of the upper GI tract, known as an EGD , allows the physician to see the inside of your esophagus, stomach and duodenum. Colonoscopy, which is an endoscopy of the lower GI tract, or colon, is now recognized as the single most valuable way to prevent colon cancer. Colonoscopy can find cancers at an early stage, as well as detect polyps so that they can be removed before they can develop into cancer.