An endoscopy is a safe, outpatient procedure used to diagnose and treat problems in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract (also known as your digestive tract).
Your doctor may recommend an endoscopy to diagnose the cause of stomach pain, ulcers, gastritis, chronic constipation, or diarrhea.
A colonoscopy is a specific kind of endoscopy that is used to look for signs of colon cancer. Compared to at-home colon cancer screening options, colonoscopies are better at finding cancer cells early. Learn how to prepare for your next colonoscopy.
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WHAT TO EXPECT DURING AN ENDOSCOPY
Your doctor will give you instructions on how to prepare for your endoscopy. Make sure you understand the instructions and follow them closely so that the procedure goes smoothly.
You will either be sedated or have anesthesia during the procedure, which will keep you comfortable.
During an upper endoscopy, your doctor inserts a long tube called an endoscope through your mouth and into your stomach and upper digestive tract.
During a lower endoscopy, your doctor inserts the tube through your rectum and into your colon.
Depending on what kind of endoscopy you need, the doctor may inflate your digestive tract using soft air pressure. Your doctor will take pictures and video. Special tools may be used to collect a sample or remove abnormal tissue (called a polyp).
After your endoscopy, you may feel groggy while sedation wears off. You’ll need somebody with you who can drive you home. It’s natural to experience some bloating or cramping after your procedure.
TYPES OF ENDOSCOPY PROCEDURES
There are five common types of endoscopies: