What is Endoscopy?
Endoscopy is a procedure which allows your Consultant to use specialised instruments to view and / or operate on the internal organs and vessels in your body. It allows your Consultant to view problems within your body in a minimally invasive way, without making any large incisions.
Your Consultant inserts an endoscope through a natural opening in the body such as the mouth, nostrils or back passage. An endoscope is a flexible tube with a camera at the end which allows your Consultant to see the internal area under examination. Your Consultant can then use specialised tools on the endoscope to operate or to remove tissue samples for biopsy.
Why might my GP have referred me for Endoscopy?
Your GP may have referred you for endoscopy to allow a Specialist Consultant to visually examine one, or more, of your internal organs. The endoscope has a camera with lighting system which allows your Consultant to see any potential problems clearly without the need for making unnecessary large incisions. The camera feeds a screen in the Endoscopy Suite which allows your Consultant to see exactly what the endoscope sees.
If your Consultant suspects that an area of your body or an organ is damaged, infected or cancerous they may order an endoscopic biopsy. This is when a small forceps on the endoscopic tube removes a small tissue sample from the area for testing in the lab.
The results of this endoscopy and biopsy will help to give your Consultant a better understanding of the possible cause of your symptoms and help them to determine the best course of treatment, if any, is necessary.
Are there different types of Endoscopy at Beacon Hospital & what are they?
Endoscopies can be broken down into different categories depending on what area of the body they are investigating. The American Cancer Society lists the following types:
- Bronchoscopy. This is used to examine your lungs. The endoscope will be inserted through your mouth or your nose.
- Colonoscopy. This examines your colon. The endoscope will be inserted through your back passage.
- Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. This examines your esophagus and upper intestinal tract. The endoscope will be inserted through your mouth.
- Ureteroscopy. This is used to examine your ureter. The endoscope will be inserted in through the hole through which your urinate (your urethra).