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Updated June 02, 2014

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.


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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