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Our Endoscopy services

SCH has a state-of-the-art Endoscopy Unit fully equipped to offer comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy service.

Diagnostic endoscopic procedures
  • Gastroscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Enteroscopy
Interventional endoscopic procedures
  • Polypectomy
  • Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG)
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP)
  • Endoscopic hemostasis for non-variceal gastro-intestinal haemorrhage
  • Endoscopic hemostasis for variceal haemorrhage
  • Endoscopic dilatation / stent placement

What is endoscopy?
Endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure used to examine a person's digestive tract. Using an endoscope, a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it, your doctor can view pictures of the inside of your digestive tract on a color TV monitor.

Why is Endoscopy performed?
Endoscopy can be used to diagnose various conditions by close examination of internal organ and body structures. Endoscopy can also guide therapy and repair. A biopsy (tissue sampling for pathologic testing) may also be performed under endoscopic guidance.

What are the different types of Endoscopy?
During an upper endoscopy, an endoscope is easily passed through the mouth and throat and into the esophagus, allowing the doctor to view the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine.

Similarly, endoscopes can be passed into the large intestine (colon) through the rectum to examine this area of the intestine. This procedure is called a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, depending on how far up the colon is examined.

A special form of endoscopy, called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreaticography, or ERCP, allows us to take pictures of the pancreas, gallbladder, and related structures. During an ERCP, bile duct stones can be removed, and tubes called stents can be inserted to overcome blockages in the bile duct and pancreas.
All of these types of endoscopy are performed daily at South City Hospital.

Why does one need an Endoscopy?
Doctors will often recommend endoscopy to evaluate:

  • Stomach pain
  • Ulcers, gastritis, or difficulty swallowing
  • Digestive tract bleeding
  • Changes in bowel habits (chronic constipation or diarrhea)
  • Polyps or growths in the colon

In addition, your doctor may use an endoscope to take a biopsy (removal of tissue) to look for the presence of disease.

Endoscopy may also be used to treat a digestive tract problem. For example, the endoscope might not only detect active bleeding from an ulcer, but devices can be passed through the endoscope that can stop the bleeding. In the colon, polyps can be removed through the endoscope to prevent the development of colon cancer.

Also, using ERCP, gallstones that have passed outside the gallbladder and into the bile duct can be removed.

Is Endoscopy safe?
Overall, endoscopy is very safe.  However, the procedure does have a few potential complications, which can be discussed further with your doctor.

Who performs an Endoscopy?
Endoscopy procedures are usually performed by gastroenterology specialists (gastroenterologists) who have undergone specialized and advanced training.

How does one prepare for Endoscopy?
Examining the upper digestive tract (upper endoscopy or ERCP) requires nothing more than fasting for 6 to 8 hours prior to the procedure. To examine the colon, it must be cleared of stool. Therefore, a laxative or group of laxatives is given on the day before the procedure.  Sometimes, certain blood tests may be required prior to undergoing an endoscopy.

Is Endoscopy painful?
No. For examinations with an endoscope, a sedative is provided. This increases the comfort of the individual undergoing the examination. The sedative, which is administered via an injection into the vein, produces relaxation and light sleep. There are usually few if any recollections of the procedure. Patients wake up within an hour, but the effects of the medicines are more prolonged, so it is not safe to drive until the next day.

General anesthesia (puts you totally asleep for a period of time) is given in only very special circumstances (in young children, in patients with significant other medical conditions, and when very complex procedures are planned).

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