What is an endoscopy?

Endoscopy is a general term for a medical procedure that uses an endoscope. An endoscope is a small, tube-like instrument that is inserted into the body through a tiny incision or a body opening. It has a lighted camera that sends pictures of the inside of your body to a video screen. Doctors use endoscopic therapy to diagnose and treat many conditions. Common examples include peptic ulcers, appendicitis, colon polyps, and endometriosis.

Capsule Endoscopy (Pill Cam)

Capsule endoscopy is a way to record images of the digestive tract for use in medicine. This modern electronic technique utilizes a capsule that contains a miniature camera. As the camera capsule travels through the small intestine, the video signal is transmitted back to the receiver. Your doctor is then able to analyze the images on a computer monitor.
Preparation and instructions
Endoscopic procedures are minimally invasive procedures because the endoscope is inserted into the body through a small incision or an opening in the body, such as the mouth or rectum. You may have other options to diagnose or treat your condition. Consider consulting with your doctor about all of your treatment choices before having an endoscopy.

An upper endoscopy is a procedure used to visually examine your upper digestive system with a tiny camera on the end of a long, flexible tube. A specialist in diseases of the digestive system (gastroenterologist) uses an endoscopy to diagnose and, sometimes, treat conditions that affect the esophagus, stomach and beginning of the small intestine (duodenum).

Your doctor may recommend an endoscopy procedure to investigate symptoms, collect tissue samples (biopsy) to diagnose diseases or conditions, or treat problems in your digestive system.

Your doctor will give you specific instructions to prepare for your endoscopy. Read the instructions carefully as your preparation may vary.

Here are some things you will need to keep in mind when preparing for your endoscopy:

  • You will need to stop drinking and eating four to eight hours before your endoscopy to ensure your stomach is empty for the procedure.
  • You may need to change your medication routine if you take medicines like aspirin, Plavix®, clopidogrel, anti-inflammatory medicines, blood thinners, diabetes medicine, or fish oil. Tell your doctor about all the medications and supplements you’re taking before your endoscopy. – OR — You will need to stop taking certain blood-thinning medications in the days before your endoscopy. Blood thinners may increase your risk of bleeding if certain procedures are performed during the endoscopy. If you have chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure, your doctor will give you specific instructions regarding your medications. Tell your doctor about all the medications and supplements you’re taking before your endoscopy.


If you have additional questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact our office. We’re happy to help.