Endoscopy involves the insertion of the endoscope through natural openings like the mouth and anus. This allows the doctor to have a clear view of the internal organs and diagnose the causes of the symptoms. Sometimes endoscopies are done for avoiding surgeries.
They are several types of endoscopies. The most common are the digestive endoscopies. This write-up aims to give throw some light on them. Find out more at Dr Mark Wong Clinic’s Endoscopy treatment service pages and other colorectal treatments.
Digestive endoscopy types
Several endoscopic procedures cater to the different parts of the digestive tract. They are divided into two groups, general endoscopy, and advanced endoscopy.
The general endoscopies are the frontline endoscopies performed to investigate the upper gastrointestinal tract and the colon. This includes Gastroscopy and colonoscopy that are also used for screening abdominal and colorectal cancer.
The advanced endoscopies are much more complicated than the general endoscopies. As such, these are used for treating ailments avoiding more invasive surgeries. Examinations of the bile duct, pancreas, complex polyp removal, etc are the features of these advanced procedures.
1. General endoscopies
This is also known as Upper GI Endoscopy and performed for investigating the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. It uses a gastroscope that contains a thin flexible tube with a camera and light and done through the mouth. In most of the cases, this is done on patients under mild sedation.
A colonoscopy looks into the colon or large intestine. It is done to find out the causes of the symptoms like persistent tummy pain, rectal bleeding, and changes in bowel habits. The procedure is performed through the anus using a colonoscope that has a camera on the tip for sending images to the monitor for diagnosis. Sigmoidoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy is also done when it becomes necessary to inspect the sigmoid colon closely.
2. Advanced endoscopies
ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography)
This is performed for examining the pancreatic and bile ducts. It uses a special type of endoscope that is inserted through the mouth to reach the area. After this, a dye is injected and X-ray images are taken to study the ducts and liver. This is mostly done to remove bile duct stones and also for bypassing blockages.
EUS (Endoscopic Ultrasound)
Ultrasound images are taken in this advanced endoscopy. It involves high-frequency ultrasound waves that take pictures of the digestive tract along with other organs like pancreas, liver, lungs, etc. The doctor can take tissue and fluid samples by using the needles for further investigation.
Image Enhanced Endoscopy (IEE)
In this procedure, the contrasts of the structures are increased to view the mucosal topography and the lesions in finer details. As such, doctors can detect the problems that are not possible in general endoscopies. There are two ways to do this; either by dye-based methods that use special dyes for detecting specific features or by equipment-based methods that enhance the images in multiple ways.
Enteroscopy (Small Intestine Endoscopy)
This is also known as double-balloon enteroscopy. It involves the insertion of a special endoscope attached with one or two balloons. As the balloons are inflated, they entail a closer view of the small intestine for better evaluation.