What is an endoscopy?
Endoscopy is a procedure that your doctor uses to examine the inside of your body and certain organs in the chest, abdomen and pelvis. These include the lungs, stomach, colon and uterus. Endoscopy is performed using an endoscope, a lighted, tube-like instrument with a small camera. The camera transmits pictures of the inside of your body to a video screen viewed by the physician. Endoscopic procedures are minimally invasive procedures because the endoscope is inserted into the body through a small incision or an opening in the body, such as the mouth. Endoscopic procedures can also be used to treat certain conditions, such as peptic ulcers, gallbladder disease, appendicitis, colon polyps, and endometriosis.
Types of endoscopy
The types of endoscopy procedures include:
- Arthroscopy is used to examine and treat the joints and involves inserting an endoscope through a small incision near a joint.
- Bronchoscopy is used to examine and treat the airways and lungs and is performed by inserting an endoscope through the mouth or nose into the windpipe and lungs.
- Colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy are used to examine and treat the large intestine. These procedures involve inserting an endoscope into the large intestine through the anus.
- Cystoscopy and ureteroscopy are used to examine and treat the urethra, bladder and ureters of the urinary system. These procedures are performed by inserting an endoscope through the urethra and into the bladder and possibly the ureters.
- Laparoscopy is used to examine and treat the abdomen or pelvis and involves inserting an endoscope through a small incision in the abdominal or pelvic area.
- Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is used to examine and treat the esophagus, stomach and duodenum, the first section of the small intestine. If only the esophagus is involved, it is called an esophagoscopy. If all of these organs are involved it is called an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD).The procedure is performed by inserting an endoscope through the mouth into the esophagus and possibly the stomach and duodenum.
Why is an endoscopy performed?
Endoscopy is a procedure that may be recommended to diagnose and possibly treat a variety of diseases, disorders and conditions. One common reason to perform an endoscopy is to take a tissue biopsy, which involves removing samples of tissues to be examined for disease or malignancy. Other common reasons for endoscopy vary depending on your symptoms, conditions, and the type of endoscopy performed:
- Abdominal, gynecologic and pelvic organ conditions, such as abdominal pain, hernias, appendicitis, infertility, gallbladder disease, spleen trauma, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pelvic pain, and abdominal or pelvic tumors or cancer. Laparoscopy is used to diagnose and possibly treat these conditions.
- Joint and orthopedic conditions, such as acute or chronic joint injuries and pain, joint inflammation, torn cartilage or ligaments, rotator cuff conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic dislocations, and loose bone or cartilage. Arthroscopy is used to diagnose and possibly treat these conditions.
- Lower gastrointestinal conditions, such as anemia, lower abdominal pain, colon polyps, colorectal cancer screening, rectal bleeding or bloody stools, and intestinal diseases, such as diverticulosis and diverticulitis (intestinal pockets that can develop over time and become infected). Colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy are used to diagnose and possibly treat these conditions.
- Lung and airway conditions, such as lung abscess, lung cancer or tumor, coughing up blood, foreign object, fluid or substance in the airway, airway infections, chronic cough, atelectasis (lung collapse), and interstitial lung disease (inflammation of deep lung tissues). Bronchoscopy is used to diagnose and possibly treat these conditions.
- Upper gastrointestinal (GI) conditions, such as upper abdominal pain, vomiting blood, difficulty swallowing, gastric reflux, anemia, tumors, polyps, foreign objects, esophageal varices, esophageal cancer, and peptic ulcers. Upper GI endoscopy is used to diagnose and possibly treat these conditions.
- Urinary system conditions, such as kidney stones, pelvic pain, enlarged prostate, urethral stricture, abnormal cells in urine, frequent urinary tract infections, and painful, frequent, or bloody urination. Cystoscopy and ureteroscopy are used to diagnose and possibly treat these conditions.
© Copyright 2012 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. For specific medical advice, diagnoses and treatment, consult your doctor.