An endoscopic procedure is performed using a flexible tube with a camera on the end, which is attached to a television monitor, allowing the doctor to see inside the gastrointestinal tract. After adequate sedation, the physician passes a scope through the mouth or rectum, which helps to discover significant abnormalities and remove or biopsy lesions, as appropriate, for microscopic examination. Intervention may be necessary to manage bleeding, remove polyps or foreign bodies or treat an obstruction.
Endoscopy services at Harris Methodist Northwest Hospital include:
Colorectal cancer begins as a small growth called a polyp long before symptoms appear. Screening tests can find polyps that can be removed before they turn into cancer.
A colonoscopy is a screening test for polyps, colon cancer and diverticulosis. A colonoscope is a long, slender, flexible, hollow, lighted tube about the thickness of a finger. During a colonoscopy, the tube is inserted through the rectum up into the colon and allows the physician to see the lining of the colon. The colonoscope is connected to a video camera and video display monitor so the physician can examine the inside of the colon.
If a small polyp is found, the physician may remove it. This is done by passing a wire loop through the colonoscope to cut the polyp from the wall of the colon with an electrical current. The polyp can then be sent to a lab to see if it has any areas that have changed into cancer.
If the physician sees a large polyp or tumor or anything else abnormal, a biopsy may be done. In this procedure, a small piece of tissue is taken out through the colonoscope. Examination of the tissue can help determine if the abnormality is cancerous, a benign (non-cancerous) growth or a result of inflammation.
Source: American Cancer Society
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) is an endoscopic procedure primarily used to diagnose and treat conditions of the bile ducts, including gallstones, inflammatory strictures (scars), leaks (from trauma and surgery) and cancer.
What is bile?
Among its many functions, the liver makes bile, a liquid that helps with digestion. Some of the bile secreted by the liver is collected by the biliary system and passed directly to the small intestine. Extra bile is stored in the gallbladder until needed; then it passes to the small intestine through the common bile duct. Bile from the common bile duct flows into the duodenum (first part of the small intestine) through the same opening as digestive enzymes from the pancreas, which are carried by the pancreatic duct.
Evaluating Ducts, Pancreas
For an ERCP procedure, an endoscope (a flexible tube with a camera on the end, which is attached to a television monitor) is inserted through the mouth into the small intestine. A dye is injected into the bile ducts and pancreas through the endoscope. X-rays are then taken to be used to evaluate the ducts and pancreas.
Special instruments can be placed through the endoscope into the ducts to open the entry of the ducts into the bowel, stretch out narrow segments, remove or relieve an obstruction and take tissue samples.
Sources: National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, MedlinePlus
An EGD (esophogogastroduodenoscopy) is an examination of the lining of the esophagus, stomach and upper duodenum with an endoscope (a flexible tube with a camera on the end, which is attached to a television monitor). The endoscope is inserted down the throat. The test is performed to help determine:
- The cause of upper GI (gastrointestinal) bleeding
- The cause of swallowing difficulties
- The presence of ulcerations or inflammation
- The cause of abdominal pain
- The condition of the stomach and duodenum after an operation
- The presence of tumors or other abnormalities of the upper GI tract
- The presence of inflammation, narrowing or tumors of the esophagus
Percutaneous esophagus gastroscopy (PEG) feeding tube
A PEG (percutaneous esophagus gastroscopy) feeding tube is the placement of a tube, in the stomach, through which liquid nourishment is given to the patient. The tube is placed using an endoscope (a flexible tube with a camera on the end, which is attached to a television monitor) through the mouth into the stomach.
Source: Medline Plus
During a liver biopsy, a microscopic piece of the liver is removed to be examined in the laboratory for signs of damage or disease. A special needle is used to remove the tissue from the liver. The physician decides to perform a liver biopsy after tests suggest that the liver does not function properly.
Source: National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse