Endoscopy is the insertion of a long, thin tube directly into the body to observe an internal organ or tissue in detail. It can also be used to carry out other tasks, including imaging and minor surgery.
Endoscopies are minimally invasive and involve openings of the body such as the mouth or anus.
Alternatively, they can be inserted into small incisions, for instance, in the knee or abdomen. Surgery completed through a small incision and assisted with special instruments, such as the endoscope, is called keyhole surgery.
For most endoscopic procedures, you will not need to stay in the hospital overnight.
You may receive a type of anesthesia, depending on the type of endoscopy. Anesthesia blocks the awareness of pain. You may be awake, drowsy, or asleep during the procedure depending on the type of anesthesia you have. While you receive anesthesia, your health care team will provide "anesthesia care," which includes monitoring your temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate.
During the procedure, your doctor will review and, possibly, record images from the endoscope. He or she will also perform any procedures. This could include collecting tissue for testing.
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Different types of endoscopic procedures.
Gastroscopy - Upper Endoscopy
Gastroscopy — also known as upper endoscopy — involves using a thin flexible tube (endoscope) to examine the upper digestive tract.
The tube is inserted into the mouth and travels down the food pipe (oesophagus), then into the stomach and first part of the small intestine (duodenum), to view these areas.
Gastroscopy is usually done to investigate symptoms such as indigestion, nausea, or difficulty swallowing. It can show if there is inflammation, an ulcer or a polyp or other growth.
How to prepare for a gastroscopy
If you are having a gastroscopy, you will need to have an empty stomach so the doctor can see clearly and so you don't vomit. You should not eat or drink for 6 hours beforehand — your doctor will advise you about the specific details before the procedure. You should also discuss with your doctor when to take any regular medicines, and if you have any allergies or other medical conditions.