Allows a doctor to view the inside of the body without performing major surgery, using a tube-like endoscope that has a lens at one end, and a video camera at the other. This non-invasive procedure allows us to examine your oesophagus, stomach and bowel.
While the patient is asleep, a thin flexible camera called an endoscope is carefully inserted into the stomach and duodenum. A small camera transmits an image to a monitor, allowing close examination of stomach lining. During the test biopsies can be taken. A biopsy, means a small piece of tissue is removed for later examination with a microscope. It helps to determine certain food intolerances such gluten intolerance or Lactose, Sucrase and Maltase deficiency, Helicobacter infection, stomach cancers, gastro oesophageal reflux, Barrett’s oesophagus, Oesophageal cancer.
A range of endoscopes
Endoscopes have been developed for many parts of the body. Each has its own name, depending on the part of the body it is intended to investigate, such as:
- Bronchoscope – inserted down the trachea (windpipe) to examine the lung.
- Colonoscope – inserted through the anus to examine the colon (bowel)
- Gastroscope – inserted down the oesophagus to examine the stomach.
- Duodenoscope – inserted through the stomach into the duodenum to inspect and perform procedures on the bile duct and /or pancreatic duct, called ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatogram).
- Hysteroscope – inserted through the cervix to examine the uterus.
- Cystoscope and ureteroscope – inserted via the urethra to inspect the urinary bladder and ureters.
What should I expect after endoscopy?
Unlike a full surgical procedure, an endoscopy is generally painless and there will be no scar or stitches. In most cases you’ll be able to resume normal duties after just 24 hours.
Are there any complications?
This depends on the type of endoscopy and treatment you undergo, so it is best to ask your specialist for advice. If you experience severe abdominal pain, vomiting or pass blood, please contact your doctor immediately
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