Digestive Health Center

The Alton Memorial Hospital Digestive Health Center is the area's most sophisticated diagnostic center for detecting health problems related to the digestive system. We offer a full range of diagnostic tests to uncover stomach and intestinal disorders, and provide therapeutic procedures for treatment.

Gastroenterologists, physicians who specialize in disorders of the digestive system, and our team of experienced registered nurses diagnose and treat digestive problems.

Diagnostic tests include:
  • Colonoscopy
  • EGD (upper scope)
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • M2A Capsule Endoscopy
    (The capsule, which encases a tiny digital camera and a transmitter, is swallowed by the patient. Images are taken twice-per-second and transmitted to a recording device worn on a belt by the patient. The capsule endoscopy is about 60 percent more accurate than previous methods in diagnosis and evaluation of disorders in the small intestine.)
Digestive Health Center Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)    
Q. Where is digestive health located?
A. The new Digestive Health Center is located on the second floor of Alton Memorial Hospital's Hatch Wing. Convenient parking is located nearby and the center offers a comfortable waiting room for loved ones.

Q. Is there any preparation for procedures?
A. Yes. For many procedures, a cleansing bowel prep is necessary. Your gastroenterologist's office will call and instruct you on what is appropriate for your particular procedure and furnish you with instructions on how to use it.

Q. Can I have anything to eat while I am taking the preparation?
A. Solid food is not allowed at this time. You may have clear liquids to drink (i.e., broth, tea, coffee or soda.

Q. Will I receive any medication during this procedure?
A. Yes. Sedation will be offered to every patient. An IV will be started to give this medication.

Q. When can I return to my normal activities?
A. Due to the sedation you may not drive, work any hazardous machinery, make any major decisions or drink any alcoholic beverages for the remainder of the day the procedure is performed. Please remember you must have someone available to drive you home.

Q. When can I eat after my procedure?
A. The hospital will monitor you for approximately one hour after your procedure. Normally you may return to your previous diet prior to the examination.

Q. How long will I be at the hospital?
A. Approximately 2-1/2 to 3 hours.

Q. Where is digestive health located?
A. In the back of the hospital on the first floor of the Smith Wing. A specified Digestive Health Center parking area will be located right in front of the entry door.

Q. May I take my normal medications the day of my procedure?
A. Your physician's office will provide this information when they schedule your procedure.

Q. Are there any specific medications or past procedures that I need to inform my Gastroenterologist about?
A. Please inform your doctor if you are taking any blood thinners, if you have had a heart valve replacement or any recent joint replacement.

Q. Do I need to register before my procedure?
A. Unless our registration has contacted you (usually the night before your procedure), you must go to registration. Please allot for more time before your procedure if you need to go to registration.

Digestive Health Links  

MEDLINEplus Health Information

National Institutes of Health

WebMD Health

Contact Us 
For more information about Digestive Health Center services, contact 618.463.7515.