What is Endoscopy?
Endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure used to examine a person's digestive tract. Using an endoscope, a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it, your doctor can view pictures of your digestive tract on a color TV monitor.
During an upper endoscopy, an endoscope is easily passed through the mouth and throat and into the esophagus, allowing the doctor to view the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine.
Similarly, endoscopes can be passed into the large intestine (colon) through the rectum to examine this area of the intestine. This procedure is called sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy depending on how far up the colon is examined.
A doctor can use endoscopy procedure to see any of the body parts, such as:
- Gastrointestinal tract
- Urinary tract
- Respiratory tract
- Reproductive system
Why is Endoscopy Done ?
A doctor may use endoscopy procedure to know the causes behind:
- Stomach pain
- Cancer of the digestive system
- Abdominal pain
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Polyps or growth in colon
- Ulcers or difficulty in swallowing
What treatments you receive for esophageal cancer are based on the type of cells involved in your cancer, your cancer's stage, your overall health and your preferences for treatment.
What to Expect?
Surgery to remove the cancer can be used alone or in combination with other treatments. Operations used to treat esophageal cancer include:
- Before the Surgery
Before an endoscopy, a doctor will do a physical examination and check the patient’s medical history, including prior operations, if any. At this stage, patients should inform the doctor about all their current medications, including over-the-counter drugs and nutritional supplements. A doctor may also ask a patient to stop taking certain medications to avoid excessive bleeding during the procedure. Depending on the body part to be examined through the endoscope, a patient may be asked to stop eating and drinking for a few hours before the Endoscopy.
- During the Surgery
A patient may be given a local anaesthesia to numb the specific area of a body part along with a sedative to relax during the surgery. A doctor will carefully insert the endoscope into the body, and throughout the procedure, the healthcare team will monitor the patient’s blood pressure and heart rate.
Nowadays, in a new innovative procedure many doctors use a capsule endoscopy procedure in which a patient is asked to swallow a capsule containing a tiny camera. The images of the digestive tract are captured and transmitted to a recorder tied to a patient’s waist.
- After the Endoscopy
After the endoscopy, a patient may experience mild side effects like dry throat, sore, bloating and gas, which may disappear in a few hours. If the person has fully recovered, the doctor may discharge the patient. If the doctor has used sedation during the surgery, the patient should be taken home by another person. Also, the patient should stay away from driving or operating any machinery for the rest of the day. At the time of discharge, a doctor may also devise a follow-up schedule for the patient.
Immediately talk to the doctor if there are any of the following symptoms appear after endoscopic surgery:
- Chest pain
- Abnormal stool
- Severe abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
Advantages of Endoscopic Surgery
Here are some of the benefits of Endoscopic surgery:
- Minimum blood loss
- Less pain
- No muscle or tissue trauma
- Small incision
- Low risk of infection
- Minimum hospital stay
What one needs to know about Endosopic Surgery?
Endoscopic surgery is a surgical procedures which is done using Endoscopy. It is safe; the risk factors associated with it include infection, high fever, gastrointestinal perforation, redness and swelling at the incision site, drug reactions, bleeding, chest pain and persistent pain in or around the area of the surgery. Endoscopic surgery special instruments are used to manipulate and operate on tissues and organs without making a skin incision. Thus, Endoscopic surgery is cosmetic very good. In GI Science, many new surgical procedures have been developed like ESD (Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection) for early gastric cancer and early esophageal cancer, POEMS (per oral Endoscopic Myotomy Surgery) for achalasia cardia etc. After Endoscopic surgery patient recovery is very early and acceptance of the procedure by patients is very high.