Eating and digestion are essential parts of daily life. These activities ensure that your body receives the necessary nutrients that keep you healthy. However, what you eat and digest can sometimes lead to infections and damage to your digestive system.
In cases where patients experience stomach pain, ulcers, bleeding along the digestive tract or other digestive issues, an endoscopy is sometimes necessary to diagnose the problem and recommend appropriate treatment.
What is an endoscopy?
An endoscopy is a medical procedure that doctors use to examine your digestive system and identify any problems that are leading to symptoms that you may be experiencing along this part of the body.
During the procedure, a tube attached to a camera (called an endoscope) is inserted into the digestive tract. The doctor is then able to view any issues with the digestive system by viewing the camera pictures.
The tube is inserted into the body via the mouth and throat (or sometimes through the anus). The doctor is then able to closely examine the digestive tract, including the stomach and even the small/large intestine.
Why is the procedure necessary?
To investigate symptoms
In some cases, patients experience digestive symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and difficulty in swallowing. To understand what is leading to these issues, it may be necessary for an endoscopy to be carried out so the digestive system can be closely examined by a medical professional.
It also allows for a more effective investigation into what may be leading to such symptoms.
Diagnosing illnesses and disorders
There are many diseases that affect the digestive system. It is critical for these disorders to be diagnosed early and accurately so they can be treated before they become worse. Common issues include anemia, inflammation, diarrhea, and bleeding.
During an endoscopy, doctors will sometime take tissue samples from the digestive tract in order to test for the presence of some of these diseases. An endoscopy is therefore a useful procedure for diagnosing disorders.
An endoscope also acts as an important tool for treating problems associated with the digestive system. During the procedure, doctors can pass specialized tools through the endoscope to treat various complications.
For example, a blood vessel can be burned in order to stop a hemorrhage, a narrow esophagus can be widened to allow for the easier passage of food, and foreign objects in the digestive tract can be removed to stop an infection.