Güncelleme Tarihi: 7 Aralık 2023

Endoscopy

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Endoscopy is an oral procedure performed to examine the digestive system without surgical operation. Endoscopy, which is used to diagnose and sometimes treat disorders in the esophagus, stomach, large intestine and duodenum, is performed with a flexible tube which contains a camera and light at the tip. In some cases, special instruments may be attached to the endoscope to do a biopsy.

Gastroscopy can be done to investigate the causes of different disorders in the digestive system and due to a number of symptoms, such as:

  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Persistent abdominal pain
  • Difficulty in swallowing, or obstruction of the esophagus
  • Persistent nausea
  • Persistent diarrhea or constipation
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Stomach ulcer
  • Infections
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gallstones
  • Tumors

What Are the Types of Endoscopy?

There are various types of endoscopy for different areas to be examined

  1. Lower Gastrointestinal System Endoscopy (Colonoscopy): The endoscope is inserted through the rectum and the lower sites of the digestive system such as the large intestine are examined. Sometimes a shorter tube is used to examine only the lower part of the colon (sigmoid colon). This procedure is called sigmoidoscopy.
  2. Upper Gastrointestinal System Endoscopy (Gastroscopy): The endoscope is inserted through the patient's mouth. Then, it reaches the stomach via the esophagus. Esophagus, stomach, duodenum are examined in this procedure.

What are the Most Recent Technological Techniques in Endoscopy?

New generation endoscopes use high resolution imaging to create detailed images. In addition, innovative techniques combine endoscopy with imaging technology or surgical procedures.

Capsule endoscopy: If other examinations are not sufficient to confirm a diagnosis, capsule endoscopy can be performed. In this method, the patient swallows a pill with a small camera inside. The patient does not feel the progress of the capsule in the digestive tract. The capsule progressing in the digestive tract obtains images for a detailed examination.

ERCP: In this method, X-rays are combined with endoscopy to diagnose or treat problems in the gallbladder and pancreatic ducts.

Narrow-band imaging (NBI): A special filter is used to help create more contrast between the vessels and the mucosa, which is the inner lining of the digestive system.

Is Endoscopy a Risky Procedure?

Endoscopy is a very safe method compared to surgical procedures.  However, like any other medical procedure, endoscopy has risks of complications, albeit low.

  • Bleeding: Patients may suffer bleeding during the endoscopy for diagnosis, treatment or biopsy.
  • Infection: Most of the endoscopies consist of examination and biopsy. Although the risk of infection is low, it may increase when additional procedures are performed as part of the endoscopy. Most infections are minor and can be treated with antibiotics. If you have a high risk of infection, your doctor may prescribe preventive antibiotics before your procedure.
  • Rupture in the gastrointestinal system: In rare cases, esophagus or another part of the upper digestive system may rupture, and organs may become damaged.
  • Reaction to sedation: Before the upper endoscopy, sedation is applied to the patient for an easier procedure and a more comfortable experience for the patient. Although very rare, patients may react differently according to the to the sedation applied.
  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Persistent pain in the area of the endoscopy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Severe and persistent abdominal pain
  • Vomiting

What Does the Patient Experience After Endoscopy (Gastroscopy)?

After the endoscopy, the patient rests for about 1 hour in the hospital and go home on the endoscopy day.

Since sedation is applied to patients for this procedure, they should have someone who can accompany them after the procedure.

When the patient is at home, he/she may experience some mildly uncomfortable symptoms after gastroscopy, such as:

  • Bloating and gas
  • Cramping
  • Sore throat

These signs and symptoms will disappear with time.

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