What is an Endoscopy?

Endoscopy is a procedure in which a long, thin tube is inserted into the body to thoroughly examine an organ or tissue. It can also be used for imaging and minor surgery. Endoscopes are instruments that can be inserted into body openings such as the mouth or the anus. It enables your doctor to examine an organ without making a large incision; the doctor can view the endoscope on a screen in the operating room.

Who performs an Endoscopy?

Specialists of different diseases can perform endoscopy according to the body part that needs to be examined. For example, a Gastroenterologist will perform an endoscopy if your GI tract needs an examination.

Types of Endoscopy

Endoscopy can be used to examine a wide range of body parts, including:

  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy: (upper GI endoscopy) for esophagus, stomach, and duodenum
  • Enteroscopy: for small  intestine
  • Colonoscopy: examines  large intestine/colon
  • Retinoscopy: for bile duct, rectum, and anus.
  • Rhinoscopy: for lower  respiratory tract
  • Bronchoscopy: for the nose
  • Otoscopy: for the inner ear.
  • Cystoscopy: examines the urinary tract.
  • Gyroscope: of the  female reproductive tract
  • Laparoscopy: for the  abdominal or pelvic cavity
  • Arthroscopy: examines  the interior of a joint
  • Thoracoscopy: for the  organs of the chest

Preparations before an Endoscopy

Your doctor will provide you with detailed information on how to prepare for your procedure:

  • Dietary Restrictions: Your doctor might ask you to stop eating high-fiber foods like whole grains, raw vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
  • Fasting: The majority of endoscopies need you to fast for up to 12 hours before the operation. Some clear beverages, such as water or juice, may be consumed up to two hours before the treatment only if your doctor advises.
  • Laxatives: To empty your system the night before the treatment, your doctor may prescribe laxatives or enemas. This is a common occurrence in operations involving the GI tract and the anus.
  • Physical Exam: Your doctor will perform a physical examination and review your whole medical history before the endoscopy, including any previous procedures.

Endoscopy Benefits

Endoscopy is performed to diagnose or even treat conditions that affect the esophagus, stomach and beginning of the small intestine (duodenum). Doctors may recommend endoscopy to evaluate:

  • Stomach pain
  • Ulcers, gastritis, or difficulty swallowing
  • Digestive tract bleeding
  • Changes in bowel habits (chronic constipation or diarrhea)
  • Polyps or growths in the colon

Endoscopy is sometimes also combined with other procedures, such as an ultrasound. It can be used to place the ultrasound probe to create specialized images of the wall of your esophagus or stomach and it also helps your doctor to create images of hard-to-reach organs, such as your pancreas.

How long does an Endoscopy take?

Endoscopies can take from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the purpose. It is generally possible to go home the same day without having to stay in the hospital.

Risks associated with an Endoscopy 

An endoscopy is usually a painless procedure with a low risk of significant problems: The following are examples of rare endoscopy risks are;

  • Infection in an area of the body that the endoscope  is used to investigate
  • Organ piercing or perforation or bleeding, any harm  to your body, may necessitate surgery to repair.

Endoscopy Recovery

An endoscopy generally is a safe procedure and the risk of serious complications is very low. After endoscopy, you may experience some mildly uncomfortable signs and symptoms such as:

  • Bloating and gas
  • Cramping
  • Sore throat

These signs and symptoms will improve with time so give yourself rest. However, consult your doctor immediately if there are any signs of infection in the area where the endoscope was inserted.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Yes Endoscopy surgery available in Pakistan?

Endoscopy isn’t really painful and most people only experience some mild discomfort, similar to indigestion or a sore throat.
Patients remain in the recovery area 30 to 40 minutes after their procedure and get back to normal within a day.
Endoscopy is used to evaluate and treat digestive tract problems e.g, endoscope might not only detect active bleeding from an ulcer, but even devices can be passed through the endoscope that can stop the bleeding.
An endoscopy test is used to diagnose and treat diseases. For example, an upper endoscopy test is used to diagnose and treat diseases in the upper part of the digestive system. Endoscopy is also used to investigate symptoms.
Endoscopy of the upper digestive system take 10-15 minutes. Other endoscopies, like the colonoscopy, may take longer, upto half an hour.
You are sedated to some extent to prevent the gag reflex and allow the tube to go inside.
There are many diseases that can be detected through an endoscopy. Examples include sources of internal bleeding, ulcers, blockages, inflammation, swelling, clots, cancer links etc.
Endoscopy will not interfere with your breathing. The tube is very small and it goes only through the esophagus, not the voice box.
A gastroenterologist or general surgeon can perform an endoscopy.
You are not supposed to eat and drink anything 8 hours before the endoscopy.

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