An endoscopy is a procedure where a long, thin, and flexible tube with a light and video camera on one end – an instrument called an endoscope – is inserted into the body to take a closer look at an internal organ or tissue. An endoscopy is also used to take pictures and conduct minor surgery by passing miniature tools through the tube to the target tissue. An endoscopic procedure is considered minimally invasive because the endoscope can be inserted into the smallest openings of the body or through very small incisions in the skin.
An endoscopy allows a doctor to closely inspect your inner organs or other structures and tissue on a TV monitor in real time during the procedure. There are few risks associated with endoscopies and it has proven to be useful in many different areas of medicine. Endoscopy is so useful that today, 10 million of the procedures are performed each year in the United States.
The main objective of an endoscopy is to investigate, confirm, and treat medical problems. There are different types of endoscopies depending on where, why, and how they are performed.
Common Endoscopy Procedures
The most common types of endoscopies are listed below. In most cases, the endoscope used in the procedure is specific to that procedure.
- Arthroscopy: An “arthroscope” is inserted into a tiny incision to view, diagnose, and treat problems with the joints such as an ACL tear in the knee or rotator cuff injury in the shoulder.
- Bronchoscopy: A “bronchoscope” is inserted through the mouth, down the trachea, and into the bronchial tubes to view tumors, conduct biopsies, stop the bleeding of tumors, and dilate the airways of the lungs.
- Colonoscopy: A “colonoscope” is inserted through the rectum and into the large intestine (colon) for cancer-screening purposes. This is also the method used to remove precancerous polyps.
- Colposcopy: A “colposcope” is inserted through the opening of the vagina to view the cervix to identify dysplasia or diagnose cervical cancer.
- Cystoscopy: A “cystoscope” is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder to visualize what’s inside to identify possible causes for a patient’s symptoms such as bladder cancer.
- Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (commonly referred to as an upper GI endoscopy): An endoscope is inserted down the mouth and into the upper gastrointestinal tract – the esophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine called the duodenum – to diagnose esophageal conditions such as GERD, ulcers, Barrett’s esophagus, and cancer.
- Laparoscopy: A “laparoscope” is inserted into small incisions made in the belly button and over the abdomen, usually to perform appendix or gallbladder removal, or to diagnose and treat infertility.
- Laryngoscopy: A “laryngoscope” is inserted through the mouth to observe the larynx or voice box and vocal cords to detect any abnormalities such as polyps.
- Proctoscopy: A “proctoscope” is inserted into the anus to observe the rectum and evaluate what could be causing symptoms like rectal bleeding.
- Thoracoscopy: A “thoracoscope” is inserted into small incisions made in the chest wall to access the lungs for biopsies or surgery on the lungs.
Since 2001, the Carlisle Endoscopy Center has been the site of advanced endoscopic procedures in central Pennsylvania. This outpatient endoscopy center is where we perform a number of endoscopy procedures using only state-of-the-art, high-definition endoscopy equipment to identify, manage, and treat gastrointestinal conditions and liver diseases.
The gastroenterologists at Carlisle Digestive Disease Associates are dedicated to making endoscopy as comfortable as possible for you. Call us at (717) 245-2228 or request an appointment online.