Endoscopy is a technique that allows examination of an area of the body by means of an endoscope, a tubelike instrument with lenses and a light source attached. The tube is about the thickness of your little finger.
The endoscope provides visual examination of the interior of the body through a natural body opening such as the throat or rectum.
Because the endoscope can be inserted through a very small opening, it is a less invasive method than other surgical techniques, causing less scarring and a quicker recovery time. A camera or video recorder is often used during an endoscopic procedure to provide permanent records of internal organs, which may be used for later reference.
Endoscopy began in the 1930s with the invention of a semi-flexible gastroscope for viewing the stomach. Prior to this, in the early 1900s, attempts were made to view the interior of the body through a rigid lighted tube similar to a telescope; however, this tool was unsuccessful. in the 1950s a major breakthrough came with the introduction of fibre optics, flexible bundles of glass or plastic fibres along which light is transmitted. This led to the development of more versatile instruments and ultimately to the acceptance of endoscopy as a routine part of hospital medicine.
There are two main uses of endoscopy - diagnostic and therapeutic. A suspected tumour or other disorder in the stomach, bladder, lungs or other organs can be examined through the use of endoscopy. In addition to studying the organ, the physician is able to take a biopsy sample (a small piece of suspicious tissue) for testing. This procedure once required major surgery. Endoscopy is valuable in the removal of polyps (small growths), treatment of knee joint and other joint disorders, and inspection as well as treatment of the bronchi, colon, female reproductive organs and gastrointestinal tract.
There are three major uses for endoscopy: gastroscopy, colonoscopy and gynaecological endoscopy. Endoscopic procedures are often necessary to find a cause for, and subsequently to heal, many illnesses.
The fully trained medical and nursing staff, together with the specialised equipment and technology provided at the Centre, result in patients being discharged approximately 3-4 hours after their procedure.
This is a visual examination of the lining of the oesophagus, stomach and the first part
of the intestine. This is performed by passing a small, long flexible telescope through the
Click here for gastroscopy information
This is a visual examination of the lining of the colon (large intestine). A long flexible
tube is passed through the rectum, and around the colon.
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The main risks are perforation, or a tear, of the stomach or oesophagus lining and bleeding. Although perforation generally requires surgery, certain cases may be treated with antibiotics and intravenous fluids. Bleeding may occur at the site of a biopsy or polyp removal. Typically minor in degree, such bleeding may simply stop on its own or be controlled by cauterisation. Seldom does surgery become necessary.
Fortunately, both perforation and bleeding are extremely rare during gastroscopy.
Other minor risks include drug reactions and complications related to other diseases you may have. Consequently, you should inform your doctor of all allergic tendencies and medical problems.
Occasionally, the site of the sedative injection may become inflamed and tender for a short time. This is usually not serious and warm compresses for a few days are usually helpful.
While any of these complications may possibly occur, it is well to remember that each of them occurs quite infrequently.
Your doctor can further discuss the above risks with you with regard to your particular
need for gastroscopy.