Endoscopy is a procedure that uses an endoscope (sometimes paired with other tools) to look and examine inside of the body. Specifically, inside of hollow organ or body cavities.
What is an Endoscope?
The endoscope is the device used within the procedure. It is a camera with a long flexible tube that allows your doctor to see what the camera sees to closely examine and diagnose and/or screen for any issues without making large incisions.
What is the difference between an upper and lower endoscopy?
The upper endoscopy is for the upper digestive system, this includes your esophagus (throat), stomach and top part of your small intestine, and the endoscope is entered through your esophagus.
A lower endoscopy is used for your lower part of the digestive system, your lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This includes your colon and rectum.
What are the types of endoscopy procedures?
Several types of endoscopy procedures exist, those that use a natural body opening include:
- Colonoscopy: Colon and rectum
- Sigmoidoscopy: Rectum and sigmoid colon
- Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD): (Upper endoscopy) Esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine
- Gastroscopy: Stomach
- Enteroscopy: Small intestine
- Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS): Chest, abdomen, and colon
- Endoscopic Retrograde: Bile and pancreatic ducts
- Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): Bile and pancreatic ducts
Why would I need an endoscopy?
You may need an endoscopy based on any symptoms you experience, if you are at an age where one is recommended, or if you have a family history for certain types of conditions that require screenings. For example, it is recommended to start colorectal (colon) cancer screenings prior to age 55, and age 40 or earlier if you have a family history.
Your provider will discuss your symptoms, perform a physical examination, and possibly order some tests before ordering an endoscopy. Some symptoms that may result in needing an endoscopy include:
- Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) – ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease
- Stomach ulcer
- Chronic constipation
- Unexplained bleeding in the digestive tract
- Blockage of the esophagus
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Hiatal hernia
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Blood in urine
- Other digestive tract issues
How do I prepare for an endoscopy procedure?
Your provider will walk you through the instructions on preparing as well as what to expect for the procedure. Typical preparations include:
- Stop eating solid foods up to 12 hours before the procedure
- Stop drinking liquids up to 12 hours before the procedures, although some clear liquids (water and juice) may be allowed up to 2 hours prior. Check with your provider to double-check.
- Laxatives or enemas may be required to be taken the night before the procedure.
- Physical exam will be completed prior to the procedure.
- Stop taking certain medications for a set time prior to the procedure. Your provider will review your medication list and let you know if there are any medications that need to be stopped and for how long.
Which providers do Endoscopy at our clinic?
Do you have more questions?
If you have more questions about endoscopes, please give us a call at: 308-995-4431