Regional Gastrointestinal Consultants

Coagulation Control of Bleeding Ulcer

Coagulation Control of Bleeding Ulcer

WHAT IS Coagulation Control of Bleeding Ulcer

Bleeding ulcers requires having an endoscopy for both diagnostic and therapeutic reasons. A gastroenterologist can use a fiberoptic camera in the endoscope to view the inside of the stomach and duodenum, searching for a source of bleeding which can cause anemia and fatigue. An effective way to treat a bleeding ulcer is by using Argon Plasma Coagulation (APC).

Argon plasma coagulation (APC) is a non-contact thermal method of hemostasis that has generated much attention and excitement in recent years. It was introduced as an alternative to contact thermal coagulation (heater probe and bipolar cautery) and to existing non-contact technologies (primarily laser). The advantages of APC include its ease of application, speedy treatment of multiple lesions in the case of angiodysplasias or wide areas (the base of resected polyps or tumor bleeding), safety due to reduced depth of penetration compared to a laser.

Contrary to a common misconception, argon plasma coagulation (APC) is not a laser. This technology uses argon gas to deliver plasma of evenly distributed thermal energy to a field of tissue adjacent to the probe. A high voltage spark is delivered at the tip of the probe that ionizes the argon gas as it is sprayed from the probe tip in the direction of the target tissue. Argon gas is non-flammable and inexpensive to refill. It is easily ionized by the 6,000 volt peak energy delivered by the tungsten wire that terminates just proximal to the probe tip. This ionized gas or plasma then seeks a ground in the nearest tissue, delivering the thermal energy with a depth of penetration of roughly 2 to 3 mm. The plasma coagulates both linearly and tangentially. By delivering energy to all tissue near the probe tip, APC can be used to treat a lesion around a fold and not clearly in view or a lesion that cannot be positioned directly in front of the endoscope.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING Coagulation procedure

APC is administered through with an endoscopic procedure while you are sedated. During APC, a jet of ionized argon gas is passed through a probe. Once the argon gas is sparked, or electrified, it turns into plasma. This plasma is sprayed toward the ulcer, never touching the ulcer itself, and therein cauterizing the ulcer. The procedure is painless, and last about 25 minutes.


First, when you arrive at our office you will be welcomed by our thoughtful staff and a dedicated team of experts that deliver personalize care. To add to your comfort level, we strive to keep the same physicians and nursing staff with the patient throughout all your appointments at the center. In this way, the staff gets to understand the patient’s concerns and conditions, and you get to know the persons taking care of you on a personal level.

Also, we strive to make your visit as hassle free as possible. We accurately schedule visits in advance, provide convenient onsite parking, and keep your waiting period to an absolute minimum. This is achieved by the fact that no emergency procedures are placed in front of your scheduled time (such as in most hospitals). Also, we do not double book patient appointments, when you are scheduled to be treated that time is assigned only to you.

When undergoing a coagulation procedure, the following will apply to your procedural visit:

  • Before any procedure our staff will meet with you to address any last-minute questions you may have.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight of the eve of your procedure date. 

  • Prior to the procedure you will get changed into one our fresh medical gowns using our private restrooms, or a private patient changing area.
  • Once you have changed into the medical gown you will relax and laydown on a padded procedure gurney and you will be transported a short distance to our modern operating room.
  • In the operating room, you will meet with your gastroenterologist before your endoscopy to discuss the procedure, if you would like, and thereafter be administered sedation so that the procedure may commence.
    • When being sedated you will receive the highest quality anesthesia, administered by highly experienced professionals who will standby you monitoring your sedation throughout the entire procedure.
  • The procedure itself will take about 25 minutes.
  • After the procedure, you will be brought back into the post anesthesia recovery area where you will relax until the sedation has worn off.
    • After speaking with most patients about their procedure, patients universally comment (paraphrasing of course); “I remember getting changed, laying on the gurney, meeting with my doctor and waking up waiting for the procedure to start”. Once they find out the procedure was completed already, there is usually a couple chuckles they have with our staff.
  • With all that being said, once you are alert from your anesthesia, fully dressed and comfortable, you will meet with your physician to discuss the procedure results, before heading home.
    • A special note, because you will be sedated for the procedure, you will need to have someone to drive you home even after the sedation has initially worn off, though you may feel fine, your reflexes may be slower than usual until the anesthesia is completely out of your system which can take between 1 to 3 hours after the procedure.
  • Also, most patients can return to a normal eating habits immediately after an endoscopic procedure.

The most important thing to remember is not to worry! Our gastroenterologist are highly experienced physicians and we have completed thousands of coagulation procedures, also we supply our gastroenterologist with only the best equipment to increase safety, as well as diagnostic and treatment effectiveness. Last, but certainly not least, please ask any questions you may have of your healthcare team, who will be there for you during and after your procedure, and all of whom are dedicated to ensure you receive the best care possible.


We recommend that people experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms do not attempt self-treatment. With many medications being available over the counter, and numerous do-it-yourself online unqualified remedy recommendation, it is natural to consider treating yourself but we highly recommend against this.

If you are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms you may have a more significant issue than you would expect from the sometimes muted or infrequent symptom you may be experiencing. It is important to keep in mind that is you are having gastrointestinal symptoms or concerns it is best see a doctor to have those symptoms diagnosed and any conditions treated. Also, it is worth noting, that if health conditions do exist, the earlier they are diagnosed and treated, the greater the probability will be to successfully eliminate or manage a present condition, in fact successful outcomes will increase significantly with early detection.

If you have gastrointestinal concerns or are experiencing any gastrointestinal symptoms, please contact us promptly to schedule a consultation with a physician.


The information on this website is to provide general information. In no way, does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a best in class physician regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today at (215) 321-4700 to schedule a consultation.