Gastrointestinal endoscopy is the technique that allows your doctor to examine your digestive tract with a flexible video instrument called an endoscope. Specially-trained physicians use this instrument to examine the inside lining of your esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon without incisions and while your are sedated. Endoscopy can be performed not only to diagnose disease but also to treat various conditions. During the procedure, your doctor can take biopsies (tissue samples), remove polyps (precancerous growths), treat internal bleeding, and dilate or stretch narrowed areas called strictures. Some of the more common conditions diagnosed and treated are gastroesophageal reflux, peptic ulcer disease, colon polyps, diverticulosis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, as well as cancers of the esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum. The most common procedures performed are:
Upper GI Endoscopy
Upper Endoscopy (EGD) allows your doctor to visually examine your upper gastrointestinal tract. After a sedative is given, an upper endoscope is inserted through your mouth to examine your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. The procedure takes about 20 minutes, and is used to find the cause of bleeding, dyspepsia (indigestion), heartburn, swallowing problems, nausea, vomiting, upper abdominal pain, and evaluate other conditions.
Colonoscopy visualizes the colon or large intestine. After you take the bowel prep as instructed by your doctor, you are given a sedative. Then your doctor uses a colonoscope which is inserted through the rectum to examine your entire colon to detect the causes of symptoms such as rectal bleeding, constipation, diarrhea, lower abdominal pain, and others. It is an important procedure to check for colon cancer in patients without any symptoms at all. Polyps can be removed during the procedure which helps to prevent the development of colon cancer.
Capsule endoscopy (CE) is designed to visualize the small intestine using a wireless capsule that houses a camera and battery within it. Your doctor will have you swallow the capsule after connecting sensors to your abdomen and a battery pack with data recorder to you on a belt. The capsule takes thousands of photos while it travels naturally through your intestine. After the exam is complete, you return to the office to have the equipment disconnected. CE can be used to evaluate anemia, gastrointestinal bleeding, suspected inflammatory bowel disease or celiac sprue, and other conditions.