Endoscopy – Introduction, Indications, Types & Uses for Community

Endoscopy – Introduction, Indications, Types & Uses for Community

Endoscopy is a non-surgical procedure used to examine a person’s digestive tract. Using an endoscope, a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it doctor can take a look into the digestive tract on a color TV monitor. 

During an upper endoscopy, an endoscope is easily passed through the mouth and throat and into the esophagus allowing the doctor to view the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine. Similarly, endoscopes can be passed into the large intestine (clone) through the rectum to examine this area of the intestine. This procedure is called a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy depending o how far up the colon is examined. 

A special form of endoscopy called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, or ERCP, allows pictures of the pancreas, gallbladder, and related structures to be taken. 

Endoscopic ultrasound or EUS combines upper endoscopy and various parts of the digestive tract. 

Doctors will often recommend endoscopy to evaluate:

Stomach pain

  • Ulcers, gastritis, or difficulty swallowing
  • Digestive tract bleeding (I)
  • Changes in bowel habits (chronic constipation or diarrhea)
  • Polyps or growths in the colon

In addition, the doctor may use an endoscope to take a biopsy (removal of tissue) to look for the presence of disease. 

Endoscopy may also be used to treat a digestive tract problem.

For example, the endoscope might not only detect active bleeding from an ulcer, but devices can be passed through the endoscope that can stop the bleeding. In the colon, polyps can be removed through the scope to prebent the development of colon cancer. 

Also, using ERCP, gallstones that have passed outside the gallbladder and into the bile duct can be removed. 

1 a b c Mayo Clinic staff (2012[last update])/ “Upper endoscopy”. mayoclinic.com. Retrieved 24 Spetember 2012.

Dr. Malik Mahboob Aziz

Senior Medical Officer. 

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