Child first in the state to try new “awake” endoscopy for condition in esophagus

OKLAHOMA CITY - Following a devastating diagnosis, a 12-year-old Oklahoma boy is undergoing a new procedure.

"It was like a lot of stomach pain. I had a lot of headaches back then,” 12-year-old Logan Marshall said.

Last July, Logan Marshall found out he had a disease called eosinophilic esophagitis or EOE. It's a chronic allergic disorder in the esophagus brought on by environment or foods.

"Wheat, dairy, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, garlic, carrots, paprika, oregano,” Tiffany Marshall, Logan's mother, said.

Now, he's slowly re-introducing those foods with the help of doctors at OU Medicine.

Every three months, Logan has to get an endoscopy to see if the new foods have caused damage, requiring the use of anesthesia.

"About eight hours, nothing to eat. They come in about two hours before the procedure time for all the pre-op evaluation. Then they get an IV,” Dr. Adnan Altaf, pediatric gastroenterologist at OU Children’s Physicians, said.

But now Logan is trying something new that cuts that time down to just two hours.

"We put it through the nose, numbing the nose, and we go through the esophagus and we take a look,” Dr. Atlaf said.

He's awake through it all, wearing his trusty VR goggles to distract him from the weird feeling.

"A long skinny finger picking my nose during it,” Logan said.

He's the first person in Oklahoma to try this procedure for his condition, and doctors are seeing a major success.

"He didn't have any pain. He didn't have any concerns with discomfort during the procedure, and the first thing I asked was would you want to do this again? He said absolutely,” Dr. Atlaf said.

Because there is no cure for this disease, Logan will likely undergo these procedures for the rest of his life.

And repeated anesthesia could have adverse effects, which is why doctors are so excited about this new treatment.

"Some studies have shown some concerns over cognitive development of requiring repeated anesthesia,” Dr. Atlaf said.

Another benefit of the new "awake" procedure-doctors say it's half the cost of a normal endoscopy.

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