Friday, June 12, 2009

In what is sure to be considered good news by people who like to mix the wrong cocktails with spicy foods on Friday nights, gastroenterologists have come up with a nifty new tool to help more effectively diagnose chronic heartburn.

The key to the technology is a tiny microscope at the tip of an endoscope -- a flexible, lighted device that's used to view inside the body. A blue light shines inside the body and the images are sent back to a computer. During the procedure, the doctors see the images on the screen.

"One of the advantages of the confocal laser microscope is that we can often make a diagnosis right then," Dr. Dunbar said.

Thanks to the new device, doctors can immediately identify pre-cancerous cells and other disorders and treat them more quickly.

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