Endoscopy is a procedure that allows physicians to better examine the body's passageways, including the esophagus, stomach and colon. Through a piece of equipment known as an endoscope, your doctor can directly look at specific areas to better evaluate and detect problems. An endoscope is a flexible, thin tube with a variety of attachments — including a camera, forceps and scissors — which allow your doctor to see inside your body and remove tissue for biopsy.
The most common variety of endoscopies is colonoscopies. During a colonoscopy, a doctor inserts an endoscope into the patient’s rectum to help detect colon polyps, inflammation, tumors or other irritants inside the large intestine. If abnormal growths are found, tissue samples can be collected for further testing or can be removed altogether.
A screening colonoscopy is vital to the early detection of colon cancer. Colon cancer, which is preventable, is often called the "silent killer" because patients typically don't start experiencing symptoms until the cancer is advanced. Typically, primary care doctors suggest men and women over the age of 50 have a colonoscopy at least once every five years.
Advanced Endoscopic Procedures
A variety of standard endoscopy procedures — like colonoscopies and biopsies — are routinely performed at TriStar Health facilities. We also perform many advanced procedures on a daily basis, including:
- Stent placements
- Fine needle aspiration (FNA)
- Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) placement
- Manometry with impedence
Endoscopic ultrasound, or EUS, obtains high-quality images and information from a patient's digestive tract. By combining endoscopy and ultrasound technology, EUS provides clearer, more accurate, and more detailed images of the patient's esophagus, stomach or pancreas.
Physicians use EUS to determine depths of tumor penetration, identify the spread of cancer, assess chronic pancreatitis, evaluate causes of abdominal pain and analyze tumors.
A highly trained gastroenterologist guides the advanced diagnostic tool with a transducer tip on the endoscopic tube to view parts of the digestive tract.
EUS is an outpatient diagnostic procedure with sedation.