New gastroenterology therapies and procedures come to light every year, but their receptions vary.
Abhishek Gulati, MD, chief of gastroenterology at Saint Agnes Medical Center in Fresno, Calif., connected with Becker's to discuss the future of minimally invasive gastroenterology procedures.
Note: This response has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Question: How do you think minimally invasive gastroenterology procedures will progress in the future?
Dr. Abhishek Gulati: If you look back at the history of endoscopy as to how the colonoscopy became such a big procedure with millions of them being performed every year, [you see] they became [big] over time. Initially, when procedures were quote-unquote "novel," there were challenges in terms of getting insurance coverage as well as challenges in terms of [figuring out] where these procedures are done and the perceived risks that come along with these novel therapies. I see these minimally invasive procedures being performed more on the hospital, inpatient side only, because people might say, "The evidence is only for 10 or 15 years, we would like more time." Insurance, I'm sure, will fight tooth and nail against approving these procedures.
But overall, the endoscopic procedures like I mentioned are minimally invasive and, in the right hands, are safe and very effective. There's accumulating data to support its use. Overtime, I suppose, it'll move in the direction that colonoscopies did — moving from the hospitals to ambulatory surgery centers — which I think will be performing the bulk of these procedures, eventually.