Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Procedure

How a Rock Star’s Bout with Pancreatitis Sparked Interest in Endoscopy

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the organ that aids in digestion and regulating blood sugar. It is a response to an injury of the pancreas and accounts for an estimated 275,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. per year.

Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker recently had an endoscopy in Los Angeles and ended up hospitalized with pancreatitis, prompting broader public interest in what exactly an endoscopy is for and how the procedure is done.

Publications as diverse as People, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Yahoo News, and MedPage Today have covered the plight of the 46-year-old rocker, who reported having a small polyp removed that resulted in damage to a critical pancreatic drainage tube.

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the organ that aids in digestion and regulating blood sugar. It is a response to an injury of the pancreas and accounts for an estimated 275,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. per year. About 80 percent of patients recover in a few days.

Barker, however, experienced cramps, intense abdominal pain, and difficulty walking and was rushed to the hospital after calling 911, he wrote in an Instagram Story in last month. He spent a few days in the hospital and since has been discharged and is recovering.

Initial reports said that Barker had undergone a colonoscopy. But reports were revised to say that he underwent an endoscopy, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Although Barker didn’t clarify what endoscopic procedure he underwent, most people who use the term endoscopy are referring to an upper esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD). The complications from the two procedures can be similar. But pancreatitis would be an unusual complication of either procedure, Dr. Avinash Ketwaroo, a Baylor College of Medicine gastroenterologist, told the New York Times. EGD is a well-tolerated diagnostic and therapeutic procedure with a low risk of complication

Barker has had a variety of medical issues in recent years including blood clots in both arms and a staph infection in 2018. Ten years earlier, in 2008, he survived a plane crash that killed four of the six people on board.

More Gastroenterology Articles
Women in Endoscopy: Addressing Ergonomics Challenges
Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Procedure
Ergonomics challenges in the GI suite require a comprehensive solution, particularly for women. Short-term remedies can help and are available.
Q&A: Women in Endoscopy During Lockdown and Beyond
Value-Based Care
Dr. Shivangi T. Kothari, an advanced endoscopist in Rochester, New York, is a part of Women in Endoscopy, a group dedicated to supporting female endoscopists’ career advancement. That mission has grown in the face of challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
More From Single-Use Endoscopy
Right Pocket, Left Pocket: Achieving Buy-In for Single-Use

Endoscopy Insights Podcast

Throughout the pandemic, hospitals have had to implement creative approaches to soften staffing shortages. Medical device companies have also gotten innovative.

How Quickly Can Bacteria Repopulate on a Damp Endoscope?

Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Applications

A new webinar answers this question and explores various methods to enhance endoscope drying.

A New Study Finds That Kidney Stone Incidence Rates Are Higher Than We Thought

Public Health

These findings are significant because, until now, population-level data assessing the incidence of kidney stones has been limited in the U.S. A persistent increase in kidney stone incidence may create a significant need for more healthcare resources.