Endoscopy Procedure Definition

The collective term for minimally invasive procedures that allow the doctor to view internal organs and structures using a lighted, flexible scope inserted through a natural body opening or through a small incision. Endoscopy can be diagnostic or therapeutic. Most endoscopic procedures require preparation before the procedure, sedation during the procedure, and supervised recovery after the procedure.

The primary risks of endoscopic procedures are minimal, consisting of primarily infection or bleeding that results from unintended abrasions to the tissues. A very rare but serious complication of endoscopic procedures of the bowel is perforation, in which the endoscope goes through the wall of the bowel. This requires surgical repair and antibiotic medications to prevent peritonitis. Most people return to full and regular activities the day after diagnostic endoscopy and within a few weeks after endoscopic operations.

Types of gastrointestinal endoscopy procedures

COMMON GASTROINTESTINAL ENDOSCOPY PROCEDURES
ProcedureDescription and PurposePreparation
anoscopyshort, rigid scope for viewing the anal canal inserted through the anus
diagnose hemorrhoids, anal fissure, anal polyps, infection
bowel evacuation (laxatives or enema before the procedure)
colonoscopyflexible scope with a camera for viewing the full length of the colon
inserted through the anus
detect and remove intestinal polyp
diagnose inflammatory or infectious conditions
evaluate bleeding or possible ileus (intestinal obstruction)
biopsy suspicious growths or tumors
multiday bowel preparation, including dietary restrictions and a potent laxative to completely clear the colon
intravenous sedation and pain medication during procedure
esophagoscopyflexible scope with a camera for viewing the esophagus
inserted through the mouth
diagnose esophagitis, barrett’s esophagusesophageal atresiahiatal hernia, and esophageal cancer
evaluate swallowing disorders
fasting for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure
intravenous sedation and pain medication during the procedure
esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)flexible scope with a camera for viewing the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum
inserted through the mouth
diagnose esophageal conditions, peptic ulcer disease
evaluate upper gastrointestinal bleeding or pain, swallowing difficulties, or inflammation
fasting for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure
intravenous sedation and pain medication during the procedure
gastroscopyflexible scope with a camera for viewing the stomach
inserted through the mouth
take tissue samples to determine whether helicobacter pylori is present
cauterize bleeding ulcer
fasting for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure
intravenous sedation and pain medication during the procedure
laparoscopyflexible scope with a camera for viewing the structures of the internal abdominal cavity
inserted through a small incision in the abdominal wall
diagnose and treat numerous conditions (peritonitishepatic abscess, diverticular disease, celiac disease, gallstones, gallbladder diseaseappendicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease [pid])
numerous surgical procedures (appendectomy, cholecystectomy, hernia repair)
fasting for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure
possible bowel cleansing (laxatives and enema)
intravenous sedation and pain medication, epidural anesthetic, or general anesthetic
sigmoidoscopyrigid scope or flexible scope with a camera for viewing the rectum and sigmoid colon
inserted through the anus
diagnose inflammation, infection, rectal polyps, rectal prolapse
biopsy suspicious growths
evaluate lower gastrointestinal tract bleeding
bowel evacuation (laxative or enema before the procedure)

See also ANTIBIOTIC PROPHYLAXIS; ARTHROSCOPY; BRONCHOSCOPYCANCER PREVENTION; CYSTOSCOPYMINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERYSURGERY BENEFIT AND RISK ASSESSMENT.

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