Endoscopy is a medical procedure that has been used in medicine dating as far back as 1806 when the first endoscope was made. An endoscope is a long and flexible thin tube that is equipped with a small light and camera at one end. This tool is inserted into the body in order to check the condition of an internal organ or tissue. Endoscopes can also be used for minor surgeries. This article lists down facts that you need to know before getting an endoscopy in Singapore.
There are various types of Endoscopy.
While an endoscopy is commonly associated to diagnose conditions affecting the digestive tract, this medical procedure can also be done to the other parts of the body. Below are several types of endoscopy and which part of the body they are used for:
- Anoscopy – anus
- Arthroscopy – joint interior
- Bronchoscopy – lower respiratory tract
- Colonoscopy – large intestine or colon
- Colposcopy – cervix
- Cystoscopy – urinary tract
- Enteroscopy – small intestine
- Esophagogastroduodenoscopy – esophagus, stomach, and duodenum
- Falloposcopy – fallopian tubes
- Hysteroscopy – uterus
- Laparoscopy – abdominal or pelvic cavity
- Otoscopy – Ear
- Rhinoscopy – nose
- Thorascopy – chest organs
Endoscopy has several uses.
The main purpose of an endoscopy procedure is to look into the condition of an organ in the body where signs or symptoms of a certain disease may be present. By using an endoscope, a doctor is able to access the organ in question and examine its condition without having to make any incision on the body. Endoscopy can help in:
- Determine any abnormal growths or condition of an internal organ
- Giving an accurate diagnosis of a disease
- Remove polyps or gallstones
- Repair ulcers that may be present in the stomach
- Retrieve a sample tissue from an internal organ for further examination in a laboratory (endoscopic biopsy)
There are different doctors who can perform an endoscopy procedure.
Endoscopies can be done by various doctors or surgeons who have the skills in carrying out this procedure. The most common specialist that performs endoscopy is a gastroenterologist,, which is a doctor who specializes in the management and treatment of conditions that affect the upper gastrointestinal tract and colon.
Endoscopy may be recommended for different symptoms to diagnose a GI condition .
It is very hard to diagnose a condition basing on symptoms alone as two or more diseases may exhibit similar signs. An endoscopy is usually recommended by a doctor in order to accurately assess and see which part of the internal organs are affected by the symptoms that a patient is experiencing. Endoscopy may be done to determine conditions such as:
- Chronic constipation
- Crohn’s disease
- Esophageal blockage
- Gastroesopphageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Other issues concerning the digestive tract
- Stomach ulcers
Endoscopy procedure has come along way.
Recent technologies have improved the methods of performing an endoscopy procedure. As mentioned earlier, endoscopy can also be used during a surgical procedure. The latest developments have produced endoscopes that are able to provide high quality images, which are crucial in assessing the current status of an internal organ. Below are samples of the technologies that have been created over the past couple of decades:
- Capsule endoscopy
- Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR)
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
- Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
- Narrow band imaging (NBI)
Capsule endoscopy makes use of a tiny camera that is contained inside a small pill. This pill is swallowed and takes several images inside the intestines as it travels through the digestive tract.
Chromosendoscopy is a method that uses dye or stain that is especially created to stain the lining of the intestine while an endoscopy procedure is performed. This special dye allows the doctor to have a better look at the state of the lining of the intestines. Any abnormality present is highlighted by the dye or stain.
Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) is a procedure that uses a needle and an endoscope to remove a malignant growth in the digestive tract. In this procedure, a needle is transported inside the gastrointestinal tract through an endoscope until it reaches the target area. Once there, a liquid is injected into the abnormal tissue. This liquid then separates the diseased lining for easier removal.
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopanreatography (ERCP) is used to diagnose or provide treatment for conditions affecting the bile duct and pancreatic duct. This procedure is a combination of two procedures: upper GI endoscopy and X-ray.
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) uses an endoscope and ultrasound simultaneously. The ultrasound gives the doctor further view of surrounding internal organs and structures that may not be accessed by an endoscope.
Narrow band imaging (NBI) is carried out using a filter made especially to show more contrast between the inner lining of the digestive tract (mucosa) and vessels.
There are several risks following an endoscopy procedure.
Medical procedures, no matter how minor they are, are not without complications or risks. That is why it is important that your procedures are done by doctors who are highly skilled and have extensive knowledge and training when doing an endoscopy procedure to ensure your safety. Some risks that may happen during or after an endoscopy are:
- Chest pain
- Chronic pain in the target area
- Dark-colored stools
- Difficulty swallowing
- Organ damage
- Over sedation
- Shortness of breath
- Tear in the esophagus or lining of the stomach
Immediately consult with your doctor if you experience these symptoms following an endoscopy procedure.
Recovering after endoscopy is faster than a surgical procedure.
In general, endoscopy is an outpatient procedure and a patient will not need to stay in the hospital once the procedure is done. After completing endoscopy, you will be asked to stay in the hospital or clinic for at least one or two hours until the effects of the anesthesia are completely gone. The recovery duration of an endoscopy procedure will vary from person to person. The type of endoscopy done is also a factor that can affect the amount of time you need to rest and recuperate. Your doctor will give you aftercare instructions following the procedure. It is important that you follow these tips to ensure your full recovery.
Gastrohealth Clinic – Dr Bhavesh Doshi | Gastroenterologist | Colonoscopy Singapore
6A Napier Rd, #03-370 Gleneagles Hospital Annexe Block, Singapore 258500
+65 6355 5773