Endoscopic procedures involve inserting an illuminated instrument into the interior of the body. The instrument is connected to an optical system that allows the examiner to obtain a view of the part of the body being visualized.
GI Endoscopy is the visual examination of the upper intestinal tract (esophagus, stomach, and duodenum) and the lower bowel (colon, rectum). These exams include Upper Endoscopy (EGD), Colonoscopy and Sigmoidoscopy. They can usually provide an immediate diagnosis.
This exam is performed using a flexible tube which transmits the image inside the intestinal tract to a TV monitor using computer and Fiber optic Technology. This flexible tube (endoscope) can be directed and moved around the many bends in the GI tract. A tiny, optically sensitive computer chip (camera) is on the end. Electronic signals are then transmitted through the scope to a computer which then displays the image on the large video screen.
An open channel in the scope allows other instruments to be passed through it in order to take tissue samples, remove polyps and perform other testing. Endoscopic therapies (treatments) can be performed at the time of the procedure. Examples of such therapies include dilation of an esophageal stricture (stretching an esophageal narrowing with a tube) or treating a bleeding ulcer to stop the bleeding.