Understanding Endoscopy: The Procedure, Benefits, and Risks

Understanding Endoscopy: The Procedure, Benefits, and Risks


About a couple of centuries ago, procedures like endoscopy were unthinkable. And if this statement has not made any impact on you, maybe it is because you are unfamiliar with the procedure itself! And if that is indeed the case, you couldn’t have landed at a better page on the web! For this discussion, we are going to talk about how much do you know about Endoscopy in detail. If you are looking for something to increase your knowledge about the procedure, this is the discussion you need to read till the very end. We talk about the indications, types, and risks that are associated with the procedure, as well as recap the happenings of the procedure themselves.


Before we jump into the reasons why you might need an endoscopy, let us first summarize the procedure in a one-liner. Well, it is the process in which a long tube is inserted into the body to observe an internal organ or tissue. That’s not all that it does though! Sometimes, an endoscopy is also used for imaging and minor surgery. Now as for the reasons, well, the diagnostic indications of endoscopy include dyspepsia, dysphagia, vomiting, GI tract bleeding, and many other conditions that require malignancy surveillance. In terms of invasiveness, this is a minimally invasive surgical procedure, so the chances of a complication are really less. But that is something that we have saved for the later stages in the discussion! 

A Few Types of Endoscopy

It is a procedure for investigating the state of affairs inside the human body and is termed differently concerning every organ. For example, the endoscopic procedure that surveys the colon and large intestine is called a colonoscopy, the one that is concerned with the rectum is called rectoscopy and the one for the small intestine is called enteroscopy. Similarly, there is rhinoscopy for the nose while for the ears the procedure is called otoscopy. Other few types of the procedure include cystoscopy (urinary tract), gynoscopy (reproductive), and anoscopy (anus).


The preparation for an endoscopic procedure varies with regard to the type. For example, if your endoscopy aims to investigate the state of affairs inside your gut, your doctor will ask you to take some sort of laxatives. The idea behind popping laxatives is to clear the system so that endoscopy can reveal more lucidly, the state of affairs inside your organ. Anyways, for most types of endoscopy, the patient must fast for at least 12 hours, especially the ones that are concerned with small and large intestines. Also, please do let your doctor know about the medications that you take daily. Mention clearly any surgical procedures that you have undergone previously as well.

What Exactly Happens in the Endoscopy Procedure?

We now come towards the procedure itself. We mentioned it earlier as well, the reasons for endoscopy can be a little more than just imaging and monitoring the state of affairs inside the organ. For example, an endoscopy can be used to confirm a diagnosis by taking biopsies. The procedure can also be used to treat a condition directly, such as the removal of a cyst or polyp. Now, as to what happens in the procedure itself, well the procedure is performed during the state of consciousness. Don’t worry, you will be administered local anesthesia! An endoscope is an illuminated optical instrument that has a camera attached to it more often than not. Specific instructions regarding the entry of the endoscope may vary according to the different types of endoscopies. For example, mouth guards must be fitted in case the route of entry is oral. This is necessary for protecting the teeth/lips of the individual undergoing the endoscopy.

Are There Any Risks of Endoscopy?

We reckon this is the most commonly asked question about endoscopy. And the answer is of course, yes. Side effects and risks are associated with almost all of minimally invasive surgical procedures, and endoscopies are no exception. The specific risks in the case of endoscopy include bloating and cramping, these are categorized as mild risks. How Much Do You Know About Endoscopy? On the other hand, more serious complications include infection and pain post-endoscopy. Even more worrisome is internal bleeding which is rare but not a risk that can be ignored lightly. As far as infections go, they are easily treatable via antibiotics but the case of internal bleeding is a little more complicated. The wisest thing to do in such a condition is to call the doc immediately!

What About the Recovery After Endoscopy?

The average time for an endoscopy is one hour, but it can vary depending on the type of endoscopy. In how much time will I be back to normal? Well, endoscopies that deal with the gut and upper region of the body require the patient to be under observation for at least an hour. This is mainly because of the sedatives that one is required to take before the procedure. Once the effects of the sedative wear off, you are given the green light to leave. It is recommended that one should rest as much as one can once the endoscopy is over. Your long drives and parties can wait, otherwise, you are just risking more cramps and soreness! 

A Bit About Capsule Endoscopy

Capsule endoscopy is innovation at its peak! This clever little technique was developed in 1990 and uses a capsule camera. All that you have to do is pop a capsule that has a wireless camera fitted in it. The capsule clicks images as it rolls through the digestive tract, which is then transmitted to the device that is fitted in a wearable belt. Oh, you are worried about the capsule! It will pass through your digestive system within one day max!


Well, folks, that would be all for now. Imaging techniques have come a long way in the last few decades or so. Endoscopy is just an example of this marvelous progress and goes on to show that diagnosis and treatment can both occur simultaneously. We are sure that you learned something if not everything new about endoscopies from this discussion. And on this optimistic note, we bid you farewell from this discussion!

Don’t forget to donate money online to deserving patients in Pakistan that need your support. 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.