Endoscopic Exam is a non-surgical procedure used to examine a person's digestive tract. With an endoscope, a flexible tube with a light, and a camera attached, your doctor can view pictures of your digestive tract on a color television monitor.
During an upper Endoscopic Exam, an endoscope is easily passed through the mouth and throat into the esophagus, allowing the doctor to view the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine.
Similarly, endoscopes can be passed into the large intestine (colon) through the rectum to examine this area of the intestine. This procedure is called a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, depending on how high the colon is examined.
A special form of endoscopy called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreaticography, or ERCP, allows images of the pancreas, gallbladder, and related structures to be taken. ERCP is also used for stenting and biopsies.
Endoscopic ultrasound or EUS combines upper Endoscopic Exam and ultrasound examination to obtain images and information on various parts of the digestive tract.
Why perform an Endoscopic Exam?
In addition, your doctor may use an endoscope to take a biopsy (removal of tissue) to look for the presence of disease.
Endoscopic exam may also be used to treat a digestive tract problem. For example, the endoscope might not only detect active bleeding from an ulcer, but devices can be passed through the endoscope that can stop the bleeding. In the colon, polyps can be removed through the scope to prevent the development of colon cancer.
Also, using ERCP, gallstones that have passed outside the gallbladder and into the bile duct can often be removed.
Is Endoscopic exam Safe?
Overall, is very safe; however, the procedure does have a few potential complications, which may include:
Who Performs Endoscopic exam?
Your internist or family doctor may perform sigmoidoscopy in their office. However, all of the other endoscopy procedures are usually performed by gastroenterology specialists (gastroenterologists). Other specialists such as gastrointestinal surgeons also can perform many of these procedures.
How Do I Prepare for Endoscopic exam?