What is Endoscopy?

Endoscopy is a minimally-invasive diagnostic procedure to visually examine the interior of a hollow body organ by use of an endoscope. The endoscope may have a rigid or a flexible tube and provide an image for inspection of lesions and other surface conditions. It also enables a chance to take biopsies, as well as the retrieval of foreign objects.

Effects of Endoscopy

An endoscopy procedure is used to diagnose various conditions by close examination of an internal organ and other body structures. Endoscopy is used to perform therapeutic procedures, like the treatment of bleeding lesions, removal of colon polyps, or to guide therapy and repair for procedures like the removal of torn cartilage from the bearing surfaces of a joint.

Candidates for Endoscopy

Endoscopies are done to check the gullet or esophagus, duodenum, stomach and large bowel or colon. This procedure is usually done by doctors to check any abnormalities like bleeding, growths or difficulty in swallowing. Endoscopy also gives them a chance to collect samples of any abnormal looking tissues.

Your Consultation

The patient will be advised not to eat or drink at least about eight hours before the procedure so that the stomach and duodenum are empty. In the hospital, the patient will be asked to don a hospital gown for this procedure to avoid messing up the clothes. Once ready, the patient will get onto the bed or X-ray couch and either given a sedative injection or spray the back of the throat to numb it.

The Endoscopy Procedure

This procedure can be done in an outpatient basis. Patients are given the choice between having the test while awake or after being injected with a sedative to make them drowsy.

The doctor will begin the procedure once the sedative or throat spray has worked, passing the endoscope tube down your throat and to the area to be investigated. If you are awake, you will be asked to swallow as the tube goes down. Those who are sedated would not remember the process afterwards. The doctor may take samples of the tissues or biopsies if there are any abnormalities to have the laboratory check it closely.

Recovery

You will be asked to rest right after the procedure. The sedative will basically make you forget the procedure once you wake up. You can go home on that same day.

Risks

Endoscopy runs the risk of bleeding, pain or infection. Gastrointestinal endoscopy also runs a risk of perforation or tearing of the intestinal wall. Your breathing, blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen level will be monitored during the procedure to check for reactions to the anesthesia which rarely occur.

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FAQs

What is endoscopy?

Endoscopy is a diagnostic procedure to visually examine the interior of a hollow body organ by use of an endoscope. The endoscope may have a rigid or a flexible tube and provide an image for inspection, also enabling a chance to take biopsies and also the retrieval of foreign objects.

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What is an endoscope?

An endoscope is a medical instrument which is actually a camera mounted on a flexible tube. Smaller instruments are used to take samples or biopsies of suspicious tissues through the endoscope. Endoscopes vary and are named in relation to the organs or areas they explore.

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What do I need to do before the procedure?

Eight hours before the procedure, you are advised not to eat or drink so that your stomach and duodenum are empty. You may also be asked to clear the colon of stool using enemas or laxatives. These instructions are all given to you beforehand and may arrive with the appointment letter.

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How will the test feel?

Most endoscopy patients prefer the use of a sedative injection before the procedure, making them feel less discomfort and also forget the whole process upon waking. Only during an endoscopic ultrasound of the rectum is sedation not usually administered. The probe used will create a sensation of the need to move the bowels, but that should not cause the patient any pain.

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Why is an endoscopy performed?

An endoscopy is performed to check for signs and symptoms like bleeding, difficulty swallowing, pain and a change in bowel habits. This procedure gives doctors a chance to get tissue samples or biopsies which they can use to find out what’s causing the abnormalities. An endoscopy of the colon may be performed to screen for colon polyps and colon cancer, while an endoscopic ultrasound of the GI tract may be used to give different information about an organ than those found during a standard endoscopy.

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