Advanced Medical Procedures Help Diagnose Gastrointestinal & Liver Diseases


United Arab Emirates: In our day to day lives, we experience sudden onset of stabbing pain in parts of our body, try to treat it with home remedies and when severity increases, we rush to the clinic. Many times diseases may be impacting our internal organs silently, without any symptoms, and we often get to know too late. Medical advances have enabled high-end procedures such as FibroScan, Endoscopic Ultrasonography and Capsule Endoscopy that help doctors diagnose and treat diseases faster and in a more efficient manner. Dr. Mouhamed Mounier Alwaw, Specialist Gastroenterologist at Zulekha Hospital Sharjah helps us understand how simple and advantageous some of these procedures can be.

  • What do you mean by an Endoscopic Ultrasonography? 

An Endoscopic ultrasound by definition is a minimally invasive procedure to assess digestive (gastrointestinal) and lung diseases. A special endoscope is inserted inside the upper gastro intestinal tract up to the second part of duodenum that allows physicians to capture detailed images of the lining and walls of your digestive tract and chest, nearby organs such as the pancreas and liver, gallbladder, lymph nodes and mediastinal organs. The instrument can also gather samples for pathology and fluid analysis.  It is also helpful in draining abscess and peri pancreas fluids, biliary and pancreatic ducts.  In certain cases this technique is applied to treat tumors, for celiac plexus neurolysis if one is experiencing severe chronic abdominal pain from cancer or persistent pain associated with chronic pancreatitis that is not relieved by medications or other conservative measures.

  • How does a patient prepare for an Endoscopic Ultrasonography?

Patients are advised to be fasting for eight hours and stop anticoagulants (blood thinners) for few days before the procedure. 

  • What is Capsule endoscopy? What are the diseases that can be diagnosed through this method?

Capsule endoscopy a capsule like camera used to explore the intestines which can’t be reached by gastroscopy and colonoscopy. It could help detect the cause of gastrointestinal bleeding, diagnose inflammatory bowel diseases, diagnose cancer and celiac diseases, screen for polyps and be recommended as follow-up testing after X-rays or other imaging tests.

  • How can a FibroScan help identify a liver disease? How long does it take? 

A FibroScan or liver elastography is a painless procedure that helps assess the health of your liver. The scan diagnosis the degree of fibrosis (scarring) and steatosis (abnormal retention of fat) in the liver with high accuracy. The procedure takes 10 minutes to complete and requires the patient to be fasting for three hours prior to the procedure. This advanced scanning procedure is a replacement to liver biopsy and is safe and easy. It can diagnose chronic liver diseases such as hepatitis C&B, fatty liver disease, autoimmune hepatitis, overweight metabolic syndrome (diabetes – dyslipidemia – increased abdominal fat, hypertension). It can also detect liver complications in patients under long term treatment with medication like methotrexate. A FibroScan can be used to assess the liver status in healthy people as well at least once in a lifetime, to be able to early detect any liver diseases as liver diseases in majority of cases exist without any symptoms. 

About Zulekha Healthcare Group:

Zulekha Healthcare Group is among the forerunners in UAE healthcare. Today the Zulekha Healthcare Group includes two multidisciplinary hospitals in Dubai and Sharjah, as well as four UAE medical centres and four pharmacies providing specialised treatments in over 30 disciplines. The Group has a multidisciplinary Hospital in India – Alexis. Zulekha Hospital has received extensive recognition for its commitment towards quality care and sustainable business practices, and recently received the prestigious Dubai Quality Award for the second time in four years, underling a commitment to providing high quality healthcare to patients and society.