Endoscopy is a common, minimally invasive procedure that uses thin, hollow tubes (endoscopes) to see inside your body. Endoscopic procedures are used to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, including digestive disorders, lung diseases and cancer.

Most endoscopes have tiny lights and cameras attached. The camera projects images onto a video screen. This gives your doctor a real-time, close-up view of your internal organs.

The endoscope will enter your body in one of several ways, depending on the area that needs to be examined. It may be inserted into your mouth, rectum or urethra, or through a tiny incision (cut) in your skin. Your doctor will then guide the endoscope through your body.

Endoscopy has many uses, including:

  • Finding out why you have unusual symptoms
  • Diagnosing medical conditions
  • Screening for early signs of cancer
  • Performing biopsies (taking tissue or fluid samples) to test for cancer
  • Diagnosing and staging cancer
  • Performing certain treatments. These include removing polyps and delivering medication directly to an organ

Endoscopy Procedures Offered at Mercy

Mercy offers a broad range of endoscopic procedures. These include advanced techniques that combine endoscopy with imaging technology:

  • Colonoscopy examines your anus, rectum and large intestine (colon). It is the best way to detect and prevent colon cancer. Colonoscopy also explores many intestinal symptoms. These include abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and chronic diarrhea or constipation.
  • Sigmoidoscopy looks at your anus, rectum and sigmoid colon (the lower part of the large intestine). Like colonoscopy, it can screen for colon cancer. It’s also used to diagnose problems like hemorrhoids, ulcers and diverticulitis.
  • Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy examines your esophagus, stomach and beginning of the small intestine. It helps uncover many digestive problems. These include cancer, Barrett’s esophagus, GERD (acid reflux) and hiatal hernia.
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) combines endoscopy with ultrasound imaging. It lets your doctor see in and around your digestive tract. EUS can take detailed pictures of your stomach, colon, rectum, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, lungs or lymph nodes. Some of these organs aren't visible with traditional endoscopy.
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) checks the ducts (tubes) that drain your liver, gallbladder and pancreas. It combines upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and X-ray imaging. ERCP can diagnose or treat many digestive disorders. These include gallstones, pancreatitis, pancreatic cysts, pancreatic cancer or bile duct cancer.

Mercy offers many other endoscopic procedures to detect problems from head to toe. 

We can see inside the throat (larynx), joints, lungs, bladder, ureters and female reproductive organs. 

It’s normal to feel nervous before having a medical procedure. But tests like endoscopy are a vital step toward getting you the treatments you need. And no matter what your test results show, you’ll find the care and support you need at Mercy.

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