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Endoscopy

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Updated May 09, 2007

What is an endoscopy?:

An endoscopy is a medical procedure used to view the digestive tract,and other internal organs, non surgically. Through the use of an endoscope (a flexible tube with a lighted camera attached, the internal body structures are seen on a color monitor by the physician.

Where is the endoscope inserted?:

The endoscope can be inserted through the mouth, down the throat, or through the rectum.

Why is an endoscopy performed?:

Endoscopy is often used to evaluate severe stomach pain, ulcers, gastritis, digestive tract bleeding, and to investigate polyps or masses in the colon.

Possible Complications:

Possible complications of endoscopy include bleeding, tear in the abdominal wall, and reactions to sedation medications.

Is the procedure done under anesthesia?:

An endoscopy is performed under sedation, through an IV. The patient usually wakes about an hour after the procedure is done. General anesthesia is given in special circumstances.

Preparation:

You can prepare for the procedure by fasting 6-8 hours prior to the endoscopy (per doctor's orders) and you will most likely be given a laxative to clear the bowels.

Types of Endoscopy:

There are many types of endoscopy procedures, including:

  • Arthroscopy

  • Bronchoscopy

  • Colonoscopy

  • Colposcopy

  • Cystoscopy

  • ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography)

  • EGD (Esophogealgastroduodensoscopy)

  • Laparoscopy

  • Laryngoscopy

  • Proctoscopy

  • Thoracoscopy
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