Ochsner’s Department of Gastroenterology features an excellent therapeutic endoscopy program and offers treatment options for gastrointestinal cancers and other disorders. Focusing on patient safety, successful outcomes and excellent patient care are our main goals.

Unique Patient Benefits

Extensive expertise in therapeutic endoscopy a multidisciplinary team approach, technological advances and innovative research allow Ochsner’s therapeutic endoscopy program to provide a wide range of services to our patients—services that are available in few centers nationwide.

Ochsner offers more than just traditional endoscopy. Our advanced technology for diagnostic screenings provides faster recovery times for patients and clearer imaging capabilities so doctors can make proper diagnoses.

Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) or echo-endoscopy is an endoscopy combined with ultrasound that obtains images of organs. EUS is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to visualize the walls of organs. The procedure feels no different than a regular endoscopic procedure but delivers more information than a traditional endoscopy. Ochsner is one of very few hospitals in the United States that uses the latest enhancement in ultrasound technology—the ALOKA Alpha 10 system processor. This new technology offers unmatched image quality and provides the most accurate medical images currently available of the gastrointestinal tract wall. These images help the surgeon, radiologist, oncologist and internist to diagnose and treat many gastrointestinal cancers and other gastrointestinal problems.

An abdominal ultrasound uses reflected sound waves to produce a picture of the organs and other structures in the upper abdomen. This procedure allows for better diagnosis of pains in the abdomen.

Ochsner has the newest technology to offer the Firefly procedure that uses infrared imaging to illuminate exactly where the kidney and its blood supply are. Firefly does not cause the blood loss and disruption of blood supply problems that older procedures did. With the more precise Firefly, doctors can see and accurately control blood flow to keep the body functioning as normally as possible. To read more about this procedure, click here.

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a technique that combines endoscopy and fluoroscopy to diagnose and treat certain problems of the biliary or pancreatic ductal systems. Through the endoscope, the doctor can see the inside of the stomach and duodenum and inject dyes into the ducts in the biliary tree and pancreas so they can be seen on x-rays.

Ochsner doctors and staff use a new medical fiberoptic technology called SpyGlass™ Direct Visualization System to make more accurate diagnoses about some of the smallest channels in the human body—the bile ducts leading to the liver and pancreas. A miniature 6,000-pixel fiberoptic camera probe fits easily into the endoscope and provides real-time images of these small bodily channels. SpyGlass™ can lead to earlier detection and effective treatment of suspected malignancies, gallstones, blockages or cystic lesions.

Tumor Types/Cancers Treated

All of Ochsner’s gastrointestinal doctors are involved in the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers—esophageal, gastric, colon and pancreatic.

Second Opinions

Second opinions are available for any type of abnormal gastrointestinal mass, including cancers of the pancreas, bile duct, esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum. When you come to Ochsner for a second opinion, you will have the opportunity to discuss your condition and the appropriate course of treatment, recommended procedures, risk factors, prognosis and alternative treatment options with a highly trained specialist. You will see one of our three advanced endoscopists—Dr. Ramon Rivera, Dr. Ricardo Romero or Dr. Mainor Antillon.

What to Bring

For your first appointment, bring your insurance card, co-payment (you may pay by check or credit card), an identification card, a list of the medications you take and your medical record if you were not referred by your doctor. If your doctor referred you, your records have probably already been faxed to us.

For follow-up appointments, bring a list of the medications you take, information about any new medical encounters that have occurred since your last visit and CDs of any imaging studies.

Our Team

Dr. Ramon E. Rivera is the medical director of Outpatient and Hospital Endoscopy for the Center for Digestive Disorders at Ochsner Clinic Foundation. He also serves as a staff gastroenterologist.

Dr. Ricardo V. Romero is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology.

More Information/Appointments

The number for Ochsner’s gastroenterology clinic is 504-842-4015. The endoscopy lab phone number is 504-842-3085. Calls are answered Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Call 504-842-4015 to schedule an appointment. If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, please call 48 hours before your scheduled appointment.

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