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Endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure used to examine a person's digestive tract. Using an endoscope, a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it, your doctor can view pictures of your digestive tract on a colour TV monitor.

During an upper endoscopy, an endoscope is easily passed through the mouth and throat and into the oesophagus, allowing the doctor to view the oesophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine.

Similarly, endoscopes can be passed into the large intestine (colon) through the rectum to examine this area of the intestine. This procedure is called sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy depending on how far up the colon is examined.

A special form of endoscopy called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreaticography, or ERCP, allows pictures of the pancreas, gallbladder, and related structures to be taken.

Why Do I Need an Endoscopy?

(1) Ulcerative Colitis
(2) Stomach pain
(3) Ulcers, gastritis, or difficulty swallowing
(4) Digestive tract bleeding
(5) Changes in bowel habits (chronic constipation or diarrohea)
(6) Polyps or growths in the colon
(7) In addition, your doctor may use an endoscope to take a biopsy (removal of tissue) to look for the presence of disease.

Endoscopy may also be used to treat a digestive tract problem. For example, the endoscope might not only detect active bleeding from an ulcer, but devices can be passed through the endoscope that can stop the bleeding. In the colon, polyps can be removed through the scope to prevent the development of colon cancer.

Also, using ERCP, gallstones that have passed outside the gallbladder and into the bile duct can often be removed.

Is Endoscopy Safe?

Overall, endoscopy is very safe; however, the procedure does have a few potential complications, which may include:

(1) Perforation (tear in the gut wall)
(2) Reaction to sedation
(3) Infection
(4) Bleeding
(5) Pancreatitis as a result of ERCP

An endoscopy is a procedure where the inside of your body is examined using an endoscope. Endoscope An endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube that has a light source and a video camera at one end. Images of the inside of your body are relayed to a television screen. Endoscopes can be inserted into the body through a natural opening, such as the mouth and down the throat, or through the anus (via the bottom).

What happens during an endoscopy?

An endoscopy is normally carried out while a person is conscious. It is not usually painful, but can be uncomfortable, so a local anaesthetic or sedative (medication that has a calming effect) may be given to help you relax. The endoscope is carefully inserted into your body. Exactly where it enters your body will depend on the part of the body being examined.

A colonoscopy can take up to 60 minutes and an upper endoscopy can take up to 15 minutes to carry out, depending on what it's being used for. It will usually be performed on an outpatient basis, which means you will not have to stay in hospital overnight.

Types of endoscope:

(1) Colonoscopes – used to examine your large intestine (colon)
(2) Gastroscopes – used to examine your oesophagus and stomach
(3) Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) – used to check for gallstones

Lower endoscopy

Lower endoscopy

Upper endoscopy

Upper endoscopy