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Endoscopy why this Form of Imaging is Essential

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An endoscopy is a procedure that uses an endoscope to look at your esophagus, stomach and small intestine. It is minimally invasive and does not require any surgery. Severe complications are rare with the use of endoscopy. A light sedative is given before this procedure to allow you to sleep.

During an endoscopic procedure, an endoscope, an instrument with a light and a camera at the end, is slowly slid into your throat and down into the stomach and small intestine. The light and camera allow the physician to see the inside of your upper gastrointestinal tract. The camera takes "still" pictures while the procedure is being recorded. An endoscope is also used during a colonoscopy, a procedure using a scope to visualize the inside of your colon and small intestine.

Endoscopy is an essential form of imaging because it can perform procedures that no other test can perform. Some of the reasons why endoscopy is an essential form of imaging include:

Endoscopes are used for diagnostic purposes: 

Endoscopy is used to evaluate the upper and lower gastrointestinal system, which include the esophagus, stomach, colon and the small intestine. Endoscopy is used to diagnose illness and disease including GERD, celiac disease, gastritis and crohns disease. Through an endoscope, a physician can see the size of the abnormality, whether the abnormality has grown and whether the growth has spread to other internal organs.

Endoscopy is also used as a diagnostic tool for several different kinds of cancer including intestinal cancer, esophageal cancer, colon cancer and stomach cancer. It makes visualization of the internal organs of the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract possible. Being able to directly visualize the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract greatly aides in diagnosis of disease. 

Endoscopes are used as a pre-surgical tool:

Bariactic surgery is done to help people lose weight because of a medical condition. Overweight people often times have problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes that are caused from the excess weight. Endoscopy is used to make sure that a person getting bariatric surgery does not have any problems with their upper gastrointestinal system.

The gastrointestinal system of a person receiving bariatric surgery must be healthy for the bariatric surgery to work. If there are any problems with your upper G.I such as small intestinal tumors, the bariatric surgery cannot be done.

Endoscopes are used to take biopsies:

When a person has cancer in the upper or lower gastrointestinal area, endoscopy's are used to check progress by visual check with an endoscope or removal of tumors and other growth with an endoscope that has "scissors" on the end. There is also a small brush that can be fed through the endoscope so that cell samples can be taken in the upper and lower gastrointestinal area. This process is also being used in the diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer.

The endoscope is small enough to pass through the upper gastrointestinal organs but large enough to pass instruments through it to visualize these organs. This makes it easier to use to treat conditions such as narrowing of the esophagus, remove objects that have been swallowed accidentally and treat upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

Endoscopy is used in the treatment of cancer: 

Endoscopy gives a direct visual of the lining of the entire gastrointestinal tract. Cancerous tumors in the gastrointestinal tract can be detected and looked at through the treatment process to see if they have grown or shrunk with treatment. Endoscopy can give a visual of the progress of cancer treatment. Endoscopy can help the physician see cancers that are "flat" or very small in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract that other forms of imaging are unable to detect.

Physicians can use endoscopy to cut out tumors or lesions inside the upper and lower gastrointestinal system. They can also use it to check how much cancer has been killed during treatment. Physicians can then tell if a certain treatment is effective or ineffective.

Endoscopy is a form of imaging that is essential in medicine as a diagnostic tool, a pre-surgical tool and a post treatment tool. It is the first line of defense against the diagnosis of esophageal cancer and other cancers of the mouth, throat, stomach and  intestines. Without endoscopy, treatment of cancer of the esophagus, stomach and  intestines would be more complicated to treat and more invasive. 

More about this author: Chelsea Padget

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