What is Endoscopy?
There are various types of endoscopic procedures, which are prescribed for many different reasons. Endoscopy enables the physician to look inside your intestines and other organs of the digestive or respiratory system. The endoscope is a long, thin, lighted tube that transmits images from inside your body, so that the physician can look for abnormalities like inflamed tissues, unusual growths, bleeding or other conditions. Tiny instruments also can be passed through this tube that allows the physician to remove a small sample of tissue for biopsy or to treat the abnormal areas directly.
The endoscope is inserted either through the mouth and esophagus (upper endoscopy or upper GI) or through the rectum (lower GI). You will be given a sedative to help you relax and remain comfortable during this process. Because of the sedative, you will not be permitted to drive yourself home from the hospital after your endoscopy.
The stomach and intestines must be empty for a GI endoscopic procedure. To prepare, you may need to fast or follow a special liquid diet for several days beforehand. You also may be instructed to use medications and /or enemas to prepare. Your physician will give you detailed instructions.