What is an Endoscopy?

Two surgeons preparing for surgery and looking at medical equipm

An endoscopy is a medical procedure that allows doctors to see the inside of the body without the need of major surgery.  The procedure is done with an endoscope (fiberscope), which is a long flexible tube with a lens at one end and a video camera at the other.  There are a variety of endoscopic procedures that examine the lungs, colon, stomach, bile and pancreatic ducts, uterus, and bladder.  The patient is usually sedated while the procedure is done in order to increase comfort.  It is a very safe procedure that has little to no complications.  However, with any medical procedure there chances for medical risks.  You should consult your doctor to evaluate your overall health before the procedure is done.

Why Get an Endoscopy?

An endoscopy is done for a variety of reasons.  Doctors are able to take biopsy samples from organs in order to determine the presence of cancer.  If found early through an endoscopic procedure, the patient has a better chance of beating the disease and survival chances increase.  Doctors also recommend endoscopy to evaluate things such as stomach pain, ulcers, digestive tract bleeding, changes in bowel habits, and polyps.

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