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Basic Techniques of Endoscopy

Author(s): Rebecca Williams

Endoscopy is a nonsurgical technique that examines the digestive tract of a person. Your doctor can view photographs of your digestive tract on a colour TV monitor using an endoscope, a flexible tube with a light and camera connected to it.

An endoscope is introduced easily through the mouth and neck and into the oesophagus during an upper endoscopy, allowing the doctor to examine the oesophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine.

Endoscopes can also be introduced through the rectum into the large intestine (colon) to check this part of the intestine. Depending on how far up the colon is inspected; this operation is referred to as sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreaticography, or ERCP, is a type of endoscopy that allows images of the pancreas, gallbladder, and related structures to be taken. Stent implantation and biopsies are also performed with ERCP.


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