Endoscopy is a way of looking inside the digestive (gastrointestinal) tract using a flexible fibre-optic tube, called an endoscope.
How is Endoscopy Performed
Depending on the organ examined, endoscopy carries a different name, such as gastroscopy, enteroscopy, sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy.
More information on endoscopy procedures.
Gastroscopy is an examination of the esophagus (swallowing tube or gullet), stomach and the first part of the small intestine, called duodenum. It is performed by using a thin, flexible fibre-optic instrument, gastroscope that is passed through the mouth and allows the doctor to see the lining of the oesophagus (gullet), stomach and duodenum.
Colonoscopy is the endoscopic examination of the colon (large intestine) with a flexible, fibre-optic instrument, called colonoscope which is passed through the anus.
What are Colonic Polyps?
Colonic polyps are growths that protrude into the lumen of the bowel. Polyps are usually removed because they can be the source of rectal bleeding or may contain cancer. Although the majority of polyps are benign (non-cancerous), some may contain a small area of cancer or may develop cancer if left untouched. Removal of polyps is therefore an important means of prevention of cancer of the large bowel (colon).
Haemorrhoids (Piles) Ligation
Haemorrhoids are abnormally engorged and swollen blood vessels in the anus and lower rectum.
What is the treatment?
Enteroscopy is a procedure to examine the small intestine. Using a special endoscope called enteroscope, the lining of the small intestine can be examined visually with the option of taking tissue samples, if necessary.
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
ERCP is used to detect and treat conditions of the bile ducts, such as stones, narrowings (strictures), leaks (from trauma and surgery), and cancer. ERCP is performed mostly with a therapeutic intention.
How to Prepare for Endoscopy
Endoscopy is done on empty stomach, therefore you are asked to not to eat or drink before the procedure. Before the colonoscopy, bowel cleansing is done to clear out the large intestine.
How Does the Endoscopy Feel
Just before the endoscopy you will be given a medicine to help you relax and possibly fall asleep. This is called sedation. With sedation, you should have little, if any, discomfort.
Why Endoscopy is Performed
There are many different reasons to perform an endoscopy. Endoscopy is generally performed for patients with the following complaints:
- Persistent or recurrent abdominal pain and discomfort.
- Prolonged symptoms of indigestion, bloatedness, nausea, vomiting.
- Severe or frequent heartburn or reflux. Difficulty in swallowing.
- Vomiting blood, or coffee-ground materials.
- Passing of black, or “tarry” stools. Anemia, loss of appetite or weight without known reason.
- Change in bowel habits. Passing of stool with blood.
- Screening for gastric and colon cancers and colon polyps.
The major risks are pain or bleeding when the polyp is removed during colonoscopy. There is also a small risk of perforation (tearing) of the tissue wall during endoscopy.
Reactions to the sedation can occur, although they are rare. For this reason your breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen level will be monitored during the procedure.