What is an endoscopy?

You may have heard someone say their doctor is suggesting a “scope” in order to diagnose a condition. The physician is usually referring to one of several possible endoscopic gastrointestinal (GI) or endoscopic pulmonary procedures. An endoscopy is an procedure in which a small, flexible, lighted tube, called an endoscope, is used to look into an area of your body such as your:

  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Colon
  • Pancreas
  • Gallbladder
  • Lungs
  • Trachea
  • Bronchia
  • Urinary tract

How can an endoscopy help me?

An endoscopy allows your doctor to:

  • Diagnose or treat some diseases and cancers
  • Find infections in your body
  • Screen for cancer

How does an endoscopy work?

An endoscopy is painless, does not require a hospital stay, and often takes less than an hour. While you are sedated, a doctor will insert a lighted tube – an endoscope – in your mouth to look inside your body.

What endoscopic gastrointestinal (GI) procedures does Parkview offer?

  • Colonoscopy – This procedure helps doctors look at the entire colon. It is often used to diagnose or screen for colorectal cancer. This procedure is also used to diagnose Crohn’s disease, causes of inflammation or diverticulitis or to remove polyps or foreign bodies.
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy – Similar to colonoscopy, this procedure only looks at the lower, first part of the colon. Doctors use this procedure to evaluate abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and a change in bowel habits.
  • Rectal ultrasound with probe – This procedure is used to stage rectal cancers and examine rectal polyps, perianal infection and sphincter muscle injuries.
  • Upper GI endoscopy (EGD) – This procedure is used to look at your esophagus, stomach and part of the small bowel (duodenum). It is often used to diagnose digestive tract disease and take biopsies of tumors in the esophagus, stomach and part of the small bowel.
  • Upper and lower endoscopic ultrasound – This minimally invasive procedure allows your physician to get better diagnostic pictures of your digestive tract, surrounding tissues and internal organs than traditional ultrasounds. Endoscopic ultrasound allows your physician to perform a biopsy, to diagnose a tumor, plan treatment for digestive tract diseases, and to check for recurrence after treatment. This technology is also used with CyberKnife™ to place fiducial markers.
  • Esophageal and gastric ablation – Your doctor will use Halo® technology mounted to the end of the endoscope for this procedure. This technology allows for quick ablation using radiofrequency to deliver a quick burst of controlled heat to remove a small layer of the diseased tissue in the esophagus or stomach while avoiding injury to normal healthy tissue. This is often used for the treatment of Barrett’s esophagus, which can cause esophageal cancer.
  • Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) – This minimally invasive procedure allows your physician to remove cancers and lesions that have not invaded all the tissue layers of the GI tract. Your physician may also use this technology to determine the stage or severity of cancers that have invaded the GI tract. This procedure is proven safe and effective for the diagnosis and treatment of these cancers and or pre-cancerous lesions, replacing the need for surgery. 
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) using Spyglass® - This minimally invasive procedure allows your doctor to treat or diagnose diseases in the pancreatic ducts or gallbladder ducts. This procedure is used to find gallstones or diagnose diseases in the liver or pancreas.  Your doctor may also be able to remove gallstones or open narrowing areas in these ducts by placing a metal stent, which can alleviate pain, jaundice and inflammation. 

What endoscopic pulmonary procedures does Parkview offer?

  • Bronchoscopy – This procedure helps the doctor see your throat, larynx, trachea and lower airways. It is also used to treat or diagnose abscesses (pockets of infection), tumors, inflammation, bronchitis and tuberculosis.
  • Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) – This procedure is a bronchoscopy with the addition of an ultrasound probe. This gives the doctor a better view of your airway walls, chest wall and lungs. It also helps the doctor get tissue and fluid samples, as well as diagnose lung cancer, infections and other diseases of the chest without surgery. The procedure is also used to stage and mark cancer, as well as determine if cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
  • Super dimensional bronchoscopy – This procedure allows doctors to get to previously unreachable lung masses or tumors. This specialized bronchoscopy uses a catheter that goes into the ends of the airways using a virtual road map of your lungs. It allows your doctor to biopsy and determine the severity or stage of lung cancer in early stages without surgery.
  • Bronchial cryotherapy – This procedure allows your doctor to reduce or remove tumors in the trachea or bronchioles (breathing structures) by freezing them using nitrous oxide. This is often used for patients who would not be able to tolerate lung surgery.