Diagnostic Endoscopy

A nonsurgical method used for examining the digestive tract of the human body is endoscopy. In this procedure, a flexible tube having a camera and light is used to view pictures of the digestive tract on the TV monitor.

When upper endoscopy is conducted via mouth an endoscope is inserted into the esophagus to view the small intestine’s upper part, stomach, and esophagus.

For examining the large intestine endoscope is inserted via the rectum. 

Endoscopy can be combined with other procedures too like ultrasound. With endoscope and ultrasound probe are attached for getting better images of the stomach or esophagus. Organs that are hard to reach like the pancreas images can also be created by using endoscopic ultrasound.

Endoscopes also allow doctors to use advanced technology known as narrow-band imaging. It makes use of special light facilitating in finding precancerous conditions.

How to prepare yourself for endoscopy?

Gut Preparation: If you are going for an examination of your upper digestive tract then it only requires complete fasting of 6-8 hours before the procedure starts. For colon examination, it is required it does not have a stool.

Sedation: For examination using endoscope mostly sedative is given. It is done for making the procedure easy for people. In the veins via injection sedative is given which initiates light sleep.

General anaesthesia: If the procedure is complex or it involves young children then only it is given as it makes you fall asleep for the time being.

When is endoscopy performed?

Endoscopy is recommended for evaluating the following:

  • Stomach ache
  • Swallowing disorder
  • Gastritis and ulcers
  • Stomach ache
  • Changes in the bowel movements
  • Polyps

A doctor might also ask you to go for an endoscopy to take a biopsy and see if any disease is there.

For the treatment of the digestive tract, a problem endoscopy might be used. 

Is there any risk with endoscopy?

Endoscopy is a completely safe procedure.

Rare complications that might arise are:

There is a risk of bleeding especially if in the procedure a piece of tissue is removed (biopsy).

The risk of infection is very less as endoscopy is performed for examination and biopsy. As a part of your endoscopy when other procedures are performed too then you are prone to infection. Infections are generally minor and can be treated with antibiotics.

A tear in the gastrointestinal tract. There might be a tear in the esophagus or some other part of the upper digestive tract. For its treatment, you might need to undergo surgery. The risk of this complication is extremely rare it can be said 1 or 0 in every 2500 to 11000 endoscopies.