An endoscopy is a procedure in which your doctor uses specialized instruments to view and operate on the internal organs and vessels of your body. It allows surgeons to view problems within your body without making large incisions.
A surgeon inserts an endoscope through an opening in the body such as the mouth or makes a small incision. An endoscope is a flexible tube with an attached camera that allows your doctor to see. Your doctor can use tools on the endoscope to operate or remove tissue for biopsy.
Endoscopy is normally part of a routine, comprehensive evaluation of your digestive system. A doctor might suggest this minimally invasive, virtually painless procedure for a variety of reasons:
- To check symptoms you have described that are most likely digestion-related
- To help your doctor evaluate the severity of a digestive condition
- To check the status of an existing digestive disorder
- To target a specific location to remove some cells for laboratory examination, a procedure known as a “biopsy”
- To screen for cancer in patients who may be at high risk
- To perform a specific therapy, such as removing polyps or a foreign body, or to stop bleeding
With this procedure, you can be assured of the accuracy of the diagnosis. An endoscopy—upper or lower—is more accurate than an X-ray for detecting inflammation, ulcers, or small tumors of the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, or lower GI tract. Endoscopy is also excellent for finding the causes of gastrointestinal bleeding. If you have had major surgery, it can be used to evaluate the inside of your esophagus or stomach to search for signs of bleeding.
If you are in the Las Vegas area and are looking for an experienced surgeon to perform an endoscopy, schedule a consultation with Dr. Heidi Ryan. She can help find the right procedure for you.