Endoscopy is a way of looking inside the body using a rigid or flexible tube which has a small camera on the end of it. There are also small tools next to the camera so when abnormal tissue is identified it can be biopsied and/or removed. In the same way endoscopy can also be used to identify and treat bleeding with application of clips or bands, use of cautery (electrical current), and the injection of vessel constricting medications.
Patient Education Links
Please find links below with patient-focussed information about endoscopy. It is highly recommended that you watch the videos and read the material before coming for your appointment.
Proceed to gastroscopy/colonoscopy videos.
Information on colonoscopy, gastroscopy, and ERCP.
Additional Educational Links
Colonoscopy and Sigmoidoscopy
Colonoscopy is Endoscopy of the colon. It uses a flexible tube with a small camera attached to the tip. Colonoscopy is able to visualize the bowel wall and identify changes to the tissue that may represent disease or cancer. Small tools are used to biopsy or remove the tissue.
Colonoscopy is an essential component of screening for colon cancer. Early colonoscopy can prevent tissue from progressing to cancer. Virtual colonoscopy is a radiological technique used to visualize the colon but it cannot see small lesions or be used to perform biopsies.
Quality colonoscopy requires cleaning the colon using a "bowel prep". These are typically started the day before your appointment.
Sigmoidoscopy is similar to colonoscopy but is used to visualize only rectum and the end of the colon. It usually requires no sedation and minimal bowel prep.
Gastroscopy, also called esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), is Endoscopy of the Esophagus, Stomach, and Duodenem (beginning of bowel). EGD is able to identify changes to these organs and diagnose peptic ulcer disease, hiatal hernias, and inflammation such as gastritis or esophagitis. Occasionally EGD may identify cancer.
EGD requires minimal sedation and analgesia and some patients choose to use none. Quality EGD requires patients to take only clear fluids starting the night before.