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Endoscopy, EGD and Colonoscopy?

Endoscopy is the use of a flexible lit tube (the endoscope, also known as the “scope”) to examine portions of the GI (gastrointestinal) tract. The most common forms of endoscopy include upper endoscopy, also known as an EGD, and colonoscopy. Images are generated through video technology and viewed on a monitor. The scopes have a small hollow channel that enables tools to be inserted to obtain biopsies (tiny bits of tissue), remove polyps (growths) and to do other forms of therapy.

Endoscopic examinations – EGD or colonoscopy – are done both for diagnosis (working out what is or isn’t causing symptoms and/or signs) as well as for therapy (using the working channel to treat what is causing symptoms and/or signs).

What is an EGD?

EGD, esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy, is the insertion of a lubricated flexible lit tube through the mouth to examine the esophagus, stomach and initial sections of the duodenum.

Upper Endoscopy (EGD) Instructions

What is colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is the insertion of a lubricated flexible lit tube through the anus that enables examination of the rectum, the entire colon (the large intestine) and sometimes the very end of the small intestine, known as the terminal ileum.

Colonoscopy Prep Instructions

What is the difference between a symptom and a sign?

Symptoms are something you, the patient, can feel or have noticed.

In general, signs are something the Doctor has noticed. Broadly speaking, signs tend to also include abnormal laboratory tests or imaging studies.

What are the reasons (also known as indications) to have endoscopy?

The ASGE (the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy), of which Doctor Huilgol is a member, has outlined general principles for the use of any endoscopy procedure:

  • The results are likely to change the patient’s management (choices). (e.g. determining the source of lower GI bleeding, investigating iron deficiency anemia, screening for colon cancer)
  • Existing treatment has failed. (e.g. in chronic diarrhea)
  • Therapy is anticipated. (e.g. stopping bleeding, removing a polyp)
  • It is being used as an alternative to radiology for viewing or imaging the area of the body accessible by an endoscope.

View our page on COLONOSCOPY where colon cancer prevention is discussed.

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