Endoscopy – Gastrointestinal Endoscopy


refers to a medical procedure that is done to examine and evaluate the interior surfaces of an organ through natural orifices of the body. It is done with a device called endoscope.


An endoscope is a device that consists of a long, thin, flexible tube (sometimes it can be a rigid tube) which has a light and a video camera.

There are many types of endoscopes which are named according to the organs they are used to examine. For example,

  • Arthroscope used to see joints
  • Bronchoscope used to see lungs
  • Cystoscope used to see the inside of the bladder
  • Laparoscope is used to examine abdominal organs

An endoscope which is used to examine the interiors of gastrointestinal tract is called gastrointestinal endoscope.

Gastrointestinal Endoscopy:

There are two methods to see the inside of gastrointestinal tract. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is done to examine the upper gastrointestinal tract which consists of esophagus, stomach and small intestine. Lower gastrointestinal endoscopy is done to see lower parts of the tract such as colon, rectum and anus.

Upper Gastrointestinal Tract Endoscopy:

While doing upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, the patient may receive a local anesthesia that is gargled or sprayed on the back of the throat. This numbs the gag reflex. Sedatives are given according to the severity of the condition. The patient is asked to lie down on his back and the endoscope is fed down the esophagus, into the stomach and duodenum. A small camera mounted on the endoscope transmits a video image to the monitor, enabling a closer examination of the intestinal lining. Special tools of endoscope allow to take biopsies, which are also used to remove abnormal growths.

Lower Gastrointestinal Tract Endoscopy:

Procedures like colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, and enteroscopy are done to examine lower the gastrointestinal tract. A long fiberoptic tube is inserted through the anus and rectum. It is moved through the entire colon. Each part of the colon is observed in total colonoscopy. In sigmoidoscopy, a shorter tube is inserted to examine the sigmoid colon. Lower gastrointestinal endoscopy is used to diagnose polyps, cancer and inflammation of the colon.

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