Endoscopy is an operation in which an endoscope is used to examine or treat organs or structures inside the body. Most endoscopes are thin, hollow tubes with a light at one end. Some include a small video camera that projects images onto a computer screen. There are flexible endoscopes and rigid endoscopes. The different endoscopes are designed to examine specific body parts.

Why do we do an Endoscopy

We can do an endoscopy:

  • to allow the doctor to look inside organs or structures of the body;
  • to collect tissue (endoscopic biopsy) for analysis;
  • to control bleeding or to remove small tumors or other masses;
  • to know how far cancer has spread (staging);
  • to check whether the cancer treatment is effective or as part of the follow-up;
  • to reduce or control symptoms, such as controlling bleeding or clearing an obstruction.

Types of Endoscopy

The different types of endoscopy are named according to the structure or organ they can examine or treat, and they include the following.

  • Arthroscopy is done to observe the joints.
  • A bronchoscopy is done to observe the trachea, bronchi and some bronchioles.
  • Hysteroscopy is done to observe the uterus.
  • Laparoscopy is performed to observe the abdomen or pelvis.
  • We did a laryngoscopy to observe the larynx and vocal cords.
  • We made a mediastinoscopy to observe the organs in the mediastinum (the space between the lungs) and nearby lymph nodes.
  • An esophagectomy is performed to observe the esophagus.
  • A rectoscopy is done to observe the rectum.
  • A sigmoidoscopy is done to observe the sigmoid colon (last part of the colon) and the rectum.
  • Thoracoscopy is done to observe the thoracic cavity.

How an Endoscopy Works

Depending on the part of the body examined, the endoscopy is performed in the doctor’s office, clinic or hospital. Anesthesia can be given.The preparation always depends on the type of intervention performed.

Depending on the region to be examined, the endoscopy instruments are inserted into a hole in the body such as the mouth, anus or urethra or in a small incision.

Instruments can be inserted into a channel contained in the endoscope to remove small tissue fragments or a mass.

The samples of tissue are sent to the laboratory for examination under the microscope.

Post-operative care depends on the type of endoscopy performed.