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What is an endoscopy?
Endoscopy is a general term for a medical procedure that uses an endoscope. An endoscope is a small, tube-like instrument that is inserted into the body through a tiny incision or a body opening. It has a lighted camera that sends pictures of the inside of your body to a video screen. Doctors use endoscopic therapy to diagnose and treat many conditions. Common examples include peptic ulcers, appendicitis, colon polyps, and endometriosis.
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 or anus. You may have other options to diagnose or treat your condition.
Types of endoscopy
The types of endoscopy procedures include:
• Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy examines and treats 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?
Your doctor may recommend endoscopy to diagnose and treat a variety of diseases, disorders and conditions. A common reason to have an endoscopy is to take a tissue biopsy. A biopsy involves removing samples of tissues to examine for disease or malignancy.
Other reasons for endoscopy include:
• 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.
• 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).
• 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.