What is Endoscopy?

An endoscopy is the process of examining the internal parts of human body using an instrument known as endoscope. An endoscope is a medical device having a flexible tube with light and a camera. Using the endoscopy, the images of the interior of the body can be seen on a screen. Endoscopy was first carried out in 1805 which included a large tube and a candle. But this was cumbersome and large. Later when after discovery of fiber optics, endoscopy became easy and effective.

An endoscope mainly consists of:
• A rigid or flexible tube.
• A light that helps the doctor to see the interior of the body.
• A lens system that is used to transmit the image on the screen from the fiberscope.
• Another channel to allow the entry of medical manipulators.

A doctor can recommend an endoscopy for:
• Confirmation of diagnosis, by performing biopsy to check for anemia, inflammation, bleeding, cancers of digestive systems.
• Investigation of symptoms like vomiting, nausea, gastrointestinal bleeding, abdominal pain.
• Providing treatments like widening of narrow esophagus, cauterization of bleeding vessels, removing of foreign object from the body.

Endoscopy is performed when a person is awake and is not painful. A local anesthetic or sedative may be given to relax. The endoscope is properly inserted in the body where the test has to be carried out. It can take about 15-20 minutes depending on which body part is to be examined.

There are different types of endoscopies done today.
Some of them are listed below:
Laparoscopy: a small incision done to examine abdominal cavity.
Amnioscopy: examination of fetus and amniotic cavity.
Cystoscopy: examination of urinary bladder.
Arthroscopy: examination of the joints.
Fetoscopy: examination of the fetus.
Colonoscopy: examination of the colon.
Thoracoscopy: examination of the lungs or organs in chest cavity.
Proctoscopy: examination of the end of colon and the rectum.
Endoscopy hardly causes any major complications, few occurring are:
• An allergy due to anesthetic.
• Bleeding more than expected.
• Infection, where the endoscope was inserted.
• Piercing or tearing of the organ.

Infection caused due endoscopy can show following symptoms:
• Swelling
• Pain
• Temperature
• Redness
• Fluid or Pus Discharge
Contact your endoscopy surgeon if you show above signs after an endoscopy.