What is endoscopy?
Endoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to inspect your throat, esophagus, stomach and upper intestine. Endoscopy is a type of minimally invasive surgery, as it does not require an incision. A flexible tube called an endoscope is passed through the mouth, into the stomach and digestive tract. The tube has a small video camera on it, which allows your doctor to see the inside of the body. It also has a tool for taking tissue samples attached to its tip.
Do I need an endoscopy?
Your doctor may perform an endoscopy if you have experienced these symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Chronic heartburn
- Hiatal hernia
- Difficulty swallowing
- Painful ulcers
What can I expect from the procedure?
First, you will be given a surgical gown to wear. In some cases, you will be given a sedative before an intravenous line is inserted and you are taken to the operating room. Before the procedure begins, you will be placed on your side. A liquid anesthetic will be sprayed into the throat, and a mouthpiece will be placed between the teeth to keep the mouth open. The stomach will be filled with air to allow your doctor more room to view the inside of the body. The endoscope is inserted into the mouth and guided into the small intestine. Your doctor may choose to take samples of the intestinal tissue with the use of the endoscope. These samples will be sent to a lab for analysis straight after the procedure.