Endoscopy is a medical procedure that allows a doctor to observe the inside of the body without performing major surgery. An endoscope (fibrescope) is a long flexible tube with a lens at one end and a video camera at the other.
The end with the lens is inserted into the patient. Light passes down the tube (via bundles of optical fibres) to illuminate the relevant area, and the video camera magnifies the area and projects it on to a screen so the doctor can see what is there. Usually, an endoscope is inserted through one of the body’s natural openings, such as the mouth, urethra, or anus.
A range of endoscopes
Endoscopes have been developed for many parts of the body. Each has its own name, depending on the part of the body it is intended to investigate, such as:
- Bronchoscope – inserted down the trachea (windpipe) to examine the lung.
- Colonoscope – inserted through the anus to examine the colon (bowel).
- Gastroscope – inserted down the oesophagus to examine the stomach.
- Duodenoscope – inserted through the stomach into the duodenum to inspect and perform procedures on the bile duct and /or pancreatic duct, called ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatogram).
- Hysteroscope – inserted through the cervix to examine the uterus.
- Cystoscope and ureteroscope - inserted via the urethra to inspect the urinary bladder and ureters.
Where to get help
- Your doctor
- The hospital or centre where the procedure was performed.
Source: Better Health Channel, https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/endoscopy