Endoscopy & Colonoscopy
Endoscopy is a way of looking inside the body using an endoscope, a flexible tube that has a small camera on the end. At Fort HealthCare, we offer a full range of endoscopic procedures including flexible sigmoidoscopy, gastroscopy, colonoscopy, 24-hour pH monitoring, esophageal dilatation, esophageal manometry, treatment of gastrointestinal bleeding and feeding tube placement.
How tests are performed
There are many types of endoscopes. Each one is named according to the organs or areas they are used to examine. Small instruments can be inserted through an endoscope and used to take samples of suspicious tissues.
- Arthroscope: Used to look directly at the joints.
- Bronchoscope: Used to look at the lungs.
- Cystoscope: Used to view the inside of the bladder.
- Laparoscope: Used to look directly at the ovaries, appendix or other abdominal organs.
- Colonoscope: Used to look at the colon.
- Gastroscope: Used to look at the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.
- Endoscope: Passed through a natural body opening or a small incision. For example, a laparoscope is inserted through small surgical cuts in the pelvic or belly area.
How to prepare
You may be asked not to eat or drink before most types of endoscopy. Before an examination of the lower gastrointestinal tract, you may be asked to use enemas or laxatives to clear out the large intestine. Ask your doctor if you need to do anything to prepare for your endoscopy.
How it will feel
You will be sedated, which means you’ll be given a medicine to help you relax and possibly fall asleep. With the right sedation, you should have little, if any, discomfort.
Sedation is usually not given to those having an endoscopic ultrasound of the rectum. The endoscope will create a feeling of the need to move the bowels (pass stool), but should not cause any pain.
Why the test is performed
There are many different reasons to perform an endoscopy. For example, your doctor may order an endoscope if you have bleeding, pain, difficulty swallowing, and/or a change in bowel habits. Colonoscopy is also done to screen for colon polyps and colon cancer.
The major risks are pain, bleeding, or infection. There is also a risk of perforation (tearing) of the tissue wall during endoscopy.
Reactions to the sedation can occur, although they are rare. For this reason your breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen level will be monitored during the procedure.
Endoscopies also can be used to treat certain diseases or conditions. For example, tumors can be removed or bleeding from lesions can be stopped.