Endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure used to examine a person’s digestive tract. Using an endoscope (a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it) the doctor can view pictures of your digestive tract on a colour TV monitor.
During an upper endoscopy, an endoscope is easily passed through the mouth and throat and into the esophagus allowing the doctor to view the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine.
Endoscopes can be passed into the colon (large intestine) through the rectum to examine that area of the intestine. This procedure is known as Sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy depending on how far the colon is examined.
A special form of endoscopy called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreaticography or ERCP, which allows taking pictures of the pancreas, gallbladders, and related structures. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) combines upper endoscopy and ultrasound examination to obtain images and information about various parts of the digestive tract.
You will be prescribed for an endoscopy for assessment of:
The doctor may use an endoscope to take a biopsy (removal of tissue) to look for the presence of disease. Besides these reasons, endoscopy may also be used to treat digestive tract problems. As for example, the endoscope might not only detect active bleeding from an ulcer, but devices can be passed through the endoscope which can stop the bleeding. In the colon, polyps can be removed through the scope to prevent the development of colon cancer. Using ERCP, gallstone that have passed outside the gallbladder and into the bile duct can be removed.
Endoscopy procedures are usually performed by Gastroenterologist (Gastroenterology Specialist). Other specialists like gastrointestinal surgeons can also perform such procedures.
Gut Preparation: Examining the upper digestive tract (Upper endoscopy or ERCP) requires nothing more than fasting for 6-8 hours prior to the procedure. To examine the colon, it must be cleared of stool. Therefore, a laxative or group of laxatives is given on the day before the procedure.
Sedation:For most examinations with an endoscope, a sedative is provided. This increases the comfort of the individual undergoing the examination. The sedative, which is administered via an injection into the vein, produces relaxation and light sleep.
The cost of endoscopy varies from one centre to another. Desun Hospital in Kolkata, India provides the best service at a cost which is much lower than other centres.