Endoscopy is a general term for procedures where the inside of your body is examined internally using an endoscope. An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end, which can be inserted into the body either via natural opening e.g. nose, or via a small surgical cut. Endoscopy services are provided at the North Devon District Hospital in our state-of-the-art Gemini endoscopy suite. Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures are carried out by a specialist team of gastroenterologists and surgeons.
Endoscopic procedures are normally carried out while you are awake but sedated and do not require an overnight stay in hospital. Below are brief descriptions of some endoscopic procedures that our carried out at North Devon District Hospital.
A bronchoscopy is used when an examination of the trachea (wind pipe) and bronchi (the air passages in the lungs) to establish whether there is any disease present.
This procedure involves swallowing a capsule (about the size of a vitamin pill) which passes through the digestive tract taking pictures. The capsule transmits the pictures to electrodes taped to the skin which are attached to a data recorder on a belt. The electrodes, belt and data recorder are left in place for 8 hours before being removed. The capsule is expelled naturally by your bowel movements.
Urinary symptoms can normally be diagnosed using a variety of non-invasive test e.g. X-rays or blood tests. In some cases the only way of diagnosing the problem is to perform a cystoscopy and inspecting the urethra and bladder. This involves passing a cystoscope into the bladder via the urethra. The procedure is sometimes called a cystourethroscopy.
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography
This procedure is used to examine the bile duct, pancreas and gall bladder. Depending on the condition identified it is sometimes possible to perform the treatment in the same session. This procedure is not carried out in the Gemini suite but in radiology as contrast radiography is used.
Gasterointestinal endoscopy procedures
There are a number of different endoscopic procedures used to examine the gasterointestinal tract. The procedure for each different type is broadly similar and the major difference is the part of the gasterointestinal tract being examined. The pictures below show the areas of the gasterointestinal tract that can be examined in each procedure.
Where can I find more information?
More detailed information regarding different endoscopic procedures can be found in our patient information leaflets here
Alternatively, information is available on NHS choices.