New Features at Our Center

Carbon Dioxide

We are the first gastroenterology center in the Tri-Cities to use carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), the same gas that surgeons use during some surgeries, to insufflate the GI tract during endoscopic procedures.

To achieve optimal visualization of any part of the GI tract once an endoscope has been inserted, it is necessary to insufflate a gas, which distends the lumen and allows the mucosa (bowel lining) to be examined.  The most common practice is to use ambient atmospheric air, also termed "room air", to insufflate the lumen.  This is a convenient, abundant, and free source of gas.

The most important benefit of using CO 2 instead of room air is that it is rapidly absorbed from the bowel (CO 2 is absorbed 150 times faster than the nitrogen in room air, and is promptly eliminated via the lungs), which allows the bowel to decompress more rapidly. This increase in efficiency decreases intra-procedural and post-procedural pain (little to none!), sedative medication requirements, procedure duration, and recovery time.