Endoscopy is the medical technique of looking inside the body for any signs of disease or abnormality using a long, flexible tube equipped with a camera. The tube is inserted into the body and the camera transmits images to a monitor where the physician is able to evaluate what is seen. The tip of the endoscopy tube can be equipped with medical tools to take cells or tissue samples, stop bleeding and perform other medical procedures.
An endoscopy can help diagnose a health problem, as well as possibly avoid the need for surgery.
Learn more about our endoscopy procedures:
- Banding of Esophageal Varices
- BRAVO pH Monitoring
- EGD (Gastorscopy)
- Esophageal Dilation
- Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
- Gastric Biopsies
- Hemorrhoid Banding
- IRHC (Infrared Hemorrhoid Coagulation)
- PEG Insertion
Anoscopy is a method to view the anus and rectum. Although this test can be performed in a doctor’s office, it may be used at the conclusion of a colon resection. An anoscope is a rigid tube with a light on the end that helps the health care provider see the entire anal canal.
The test is used to determine whether you have:
- Anal fissures.
- Anal polyps.
Esophageal varices are enlarged veins in the wall of the esophagus that can cause sudden and serious bleeding from high blood pressure in the veins. They usually cause no symptoms unless they rupture and bleed. Increased pressure in the portal vein causes the development of large, swollen veins (varices) within the esophagus and stomach. The varices are fragile and can rupture easily, resulting in a large amount of blood loss. Some of the symptoms include vomiting of blood; black, tarry or bloody stool; low blood pressure; and rapid heart rate.
Banding of the esophageal varices is a procedure usually performed by a general surgeon or gastroenterologist in which small rubber bands are placed directly over the enlarge veins. This usually stops the bleeding and takes care of the problem.
A BRAVO pH monitoring study measures pH levels in the esophagus and the amount of esophageal reflux you have. It is useful in the diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Gastroesophageal reflux is the backward flow or reflux of food and acid from the stomach into the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that takes food from your mouth into your stomach. This study helps identify if there is an increased amount of reflux.
Cystoscopy is a test that allows the physician to look at the inside of the bladder and the urethra using a thin, lighted instrument called a cystoscope. Through the cystoscope, the physician can see areas of the bladder and urethra that usually do not show up well on X-rays. Tiny surgical instruments can be inserted through the cystoscope that allow the physician to remove samples of tissue or samples of urine.
Some reasons your doctor may order a cystoscopy:
- Blood in the urine
- Painful urination
- Urinary incontinence
- Urinary frequency
- Inability to pass urine
- A sudden and overwhelming need to urinate
Endoclipping uses endoclips which are small metallic devices used to treat bleeding lesions such as ulcers, vascular malformations and perforations or fistulas. The clips are delivered through an endoscope, and once deployed remain in place for several days to weeks. The clips eventually detach and pass undetected in the stool.
Esophageal dilation is a procedure that allows the physician to dilate, or stretch, a narrowed area of the esophagus (swallowing tube). The most common cause of narrowing of the esophagus is scarring of the esophagus from reflux of stomach acid occurring in patients with heartburn. Patients with a narrowed portion of the esophagus often have trouble swallowing; food feels like it is “stuck” in the chest region, causing discomfort or pain. Less common causes of esophageal narrowing include cancer of the esophagus, scarring after radiation treatment, or a disorder of the way the esophagus moves.
For additional information, visit www.asge.org.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure used to see inside the sigmoid colon and rectum. It can detect inflamed tissue, abnormal growths and ulcers. The procedure is used to look for early signs of cancer and can help doctors diagnose unexplained changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, bleeding from the anus and weight loss.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy enables the doctor to see only the sigmoid colon. The sigmoid colon is the last one-third of the colon. The colon absorbs nutrients and water and forms stool. A colonoscopy allows the doctor to see the entire colon.
For more information, visit the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse at www.digestive.niddk.nih.gov.
Infrared Hemorrhoid Coagulation
IRHC (infrared hemorrhoid coagulation) is the most widely used office treatment for hemorrhoids and is preferred over other methods because it is fast, tolerated well by patients and virtually problem-free. A small probe contacts the area above the hemorrhoid, exposing the tissue to a burst of infrared light for about one second. This clots the veins above the hemorrhoid, causing them to shrink and recede. The patient may feel a sensation of heat very briefly, but the procedure generally is not painful. There is usually no anesthetic required for this procedure.
PEG stands for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy. In a PEG Insertion a PEG tube is passed into a patient’s stomach through the abdominal wall, primarily to provide a means of feeding when the patient is unable to take nutrition by mouth. This procedure is usually done when the patient cannot swallow, perhaps because of a stroke, dementia, chronic nausea and vomiting with associated weight loss, or another problem with swallowing or appetite.