Specialty Care

Gastroenterology

Penn State Hershey Endoscopy Center, LLC, provides comprehensive diagnosis, medical management and endoscopic treatment of diseases affecting the digestive system and liver, provided by Joel Haight, M.D.  This includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, gallbladder and attached bile ducts, liver and pancreas.

Contact us

To schedule an appointment or for more information about Penn State Hershey's Endoscopy Center, please call 814-272-4445.

Common procedures performed

  • Routine colonoscopy screenings
  • Diagnostic colonoscopies
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
  • Liver biopsies
  • Colon polyp removal

Gastrointestinal endoscopy is the examination of the digestive tract with a flexible, lighted instrument called a scope. While patients are sedated, a scope is passed into the gastrointestinal tract to view the esophagus, stomach, upper small intestine or colon. This allows for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases in these areas.

Screening colonoscopies for colon polyps and cancer are frequently performed, but other conditions, such as ulcers and strictures, as well as inflammation or bleeding, can also be evaluated through a scope. After a short recovery, patients may go home the same day.

Typical signs and symptoms

  • Abdominal pain, changes in bowel movements, or weight loss
  • Abnormal changes (such as polyps) found on a diagnostic scan
  • Anemia due to low iron (usually when no other cause has been found)
  • Blood in the stool, or black, tarry stools
  • Follow-up of a past finding, such as polyps or colon cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease)
  • Screening for colorectal cancer

Preparing for your procedure

Prior to most procedures, patients will need to completely cleanse their intestines. This may include enemas, not eating solid foods for 2 or 3 days before the test, or taking laxatives. Some patients will be told to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or other blood-thinning medications for several days before their procedure.

For a few days prior to a procedure, Penn State Hershey Endoscopy Center asks patients to drink plenty of clear liquids, which can include the following:

  • Clean coffee or tea
  • Fat-free bouillon or broth
  • Gelatin
  • Sports drinks
  • Strained fruit juices
  • Water

Unless otherwise instructed, patients may continue taking regularly prescribed medication. Patients may be asked to stop taking iron medications a few days before their procedure. Iron can produce a dark black stool, which makes the view inside the bowel less clear.

State-of-the-art care techniques

Anesthesia will be provided to you by a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), a highly specialized nurse with extensive training in anesthesia. Your nurse anesthetist will be with you throughout your entire procedure to ensure that you are safe and comfortable.

For your endoscopy procedure, you will receive monitored anesthesia care with sedation. You will be breathing on your own, with either a small mask or nasal cannula used to deliver oxygen during your sedation. Your nurse anesthetist will deliver medications to you via an intravenous catheter and will closely monitor your vital signs while you are sedated for your procedure.

Anesthesia is very safe and complications are unusual. Some minor side effects may include changes in blood pressure, light headedness, or drowsiness after your sedation. Your recovery time from anesthesia will be approximately thirty minutes, although you may feel slightly tired for a few hours after returning home. Nausea and vomiting related to the anesthetic medication is uncommon.

Please don't hesitate to ask a member of our team about your care. We're here to make your stay with us pleasant and safe.

Additional resources