– Sometimes, I will see
patients who will say to me, “Why are you in this field?” (laughs) And I tell them, “It’s because I think
it’s really important.” (hopeful music) We are the only dedicated
small bowel program in Michigan and one of the few in the country. The small bowel is a part of the GI tract. It’s actually between the
stomach and the colon. What we do is to focus on patients who have small bowel diseases and we specialize in techniques
that help us diagnose and treat and care for
patients with those diseases. A lot of people on our faculty
are full-time researchers and they’re the people
that support the science that eventually will
lead to the developments in clinical work. I think any patient who comes
to talk about a GI problem feels a little bit uncomfortable at first. If we can help them over the
initial uncomfortable sensation at least in the beginning, it’s gonna help them go a long way, and that’s certainly our goal; to get people functioning again, to be able to think about their lives rather than their particular GI problems. We had techniques for
looking at the stomach through upper endoscopy and
through looking at the colon through a colonoscopy, but we didn’t have good ways
to look at the small bowel. Now, we have a lot of new technologies and they allow us to
access the small bowel in ways that we could never do before. The capsule endoscopy that
is an ingestible camera, it’s about this big, it’s
about as big as a jelly bean, it’s actually a very
patient-friendly procedure, and after a patient swallows it, the little camera transmits
50 to 60,000 digital images. And so, we can actually see
a video of the small bowel. One thing that we have here at Michigan that most places don’t have in the state and even throughout the country is the ability to treat lesions or findings in the small bowel. So, once we see something
on a capsule study, then we have the technology
to figure out how to treat it. It’s very often indicated for them to have a double balloon enteroscopy, and that is a scope procedure but it’s a very high-technology procedure that has, at times, saved
patients from undergoing surgery, and we’ve done, oh, over
1,000 double balloon studies in the last few years. I started in GI because of
the people in this division. I came here as a student and met people who were so enthusiastic
and so dedicated to GI that I stayed here and
that’s what I specialized in. I think Michigan is unique
and our goal, of course, is to be the best gastroenterologists and physicians that we can. Patients come in with specific problems. We often have specific answers for them, and that can change a person’s life. (hopeful music)

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