Endoscopy is a medical procedure that allows a doctor to observe the inside of the body without performing major surgery using an instrument called an endoscope. An endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube that has a light and camera at one end. Images of the inside of your body are shown on a television screen.
The end with the lens is inserted into the patient. Light passes down the tube (via bundles of optical fibres) to illuminate the relevant area, and the video camera magnifies the area and projects it to a television screen so the doctor can see what is there. Usually, an endoscope is inserted through one of the body’s natural openings, such as the mouth, urethra, or anus.
Specially designed endoscopes are used to perform simple surgical procedures, such as:
- Locating, sampling or removing tumours from the lungs and digestive tract.
- Locating and removing foreign objects from the lungs and digestive tract.
- Taking small samples of tissue for diagnostic purposes (biopsy).
- Removing stones from the bile duct.
- Placing tubes (stents) through blockages in the bile duct, oesophagus, duodenum, or colon.
A range of endoscopes
Endoscopes have been developed for many parts of the body. Each has its own name, depending on the part of the body it is intended to investigate, such as:
- Bronchoscope – Inserted down the trachea (windpipe) to examine the lung.
- Colonoscope – Inserted through the anus to examine the colon (bowel).
- Gastroscope – Inserted down the oesophagus to examine the stomach.
- Duodenoscope – Inserted through the stomach into the duodenum to inspect and perform procedures on the bile duct and /or pancreatic duct, called ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatogram).
- Hysteroscope – Inserted through the cervix to examine the uterus.
- Cystoscope and ureteroscope – Inserted via the urethra to inspect the urinary bladder and ureters.
Sometimes endoscopy is used to help with certain types of surgery. This includes keyhole surgery (laparoscopic surgery) and surgery to repair damage inside joints (arthroscopy).
Endoscopies are generally painless, although they may still cause some discomfort. Compared with the stress experienced by the body in a full surgical procedure, an endoscopy is simple, low risk, and cost effective. Other advantages include:
- No scar – as a natural body opening is used.
- Quick recovery time.
- Less time in hospital.
Reddington Hospital Group provides a full range of advanced medical services from diagnosis to treatment of even the most challenging gastrointestinal and health issues. You will be under the care of highly qualified anesthesiologist, physicians, and registered nurses specially trained in the care of endoscopic procedures, pain management injections, and minor surgical procedures.
Patients using our services benefit from our high level of clinical expertise using state-of-the-art endoscopic equipment and techniques to provide services that are precise, safe and timely – all in a warm, friendly and compassionate environment.