Endoscopy Services at Kingwood Medical Center are designed to minimize patient fears, pain and discomfort. Patients are under a light sedation during testing, which involves inserting a small scope into the body. We also use state-of-the-art technologies to produce improved images, leading to more accurate diagnoses.
Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders are more common as we age and are more treatable when caught early. That’s why annual screening is so important for people age 50 and older. Common concerns that can be evaluated with endoscopy include heartburn, stomach pain, swallowing difficulties and anemia.
The endoscope is a long, flexible tube with a camera that is used to see inside your digestive tract. It can be inserted through the throat (upper endoscopy) or through the bowels (lower endoscopy), allowing physicians to see evaluate the interior surfaces of an organ.
Endoscopies can be used for both diagnostic tests and treatments, often during the same procedure. For instance, a physician may see a polyp (a small growth) through the scope then take small biopsies or even surgically remove it during the same procedure.
Some of the endoscopic procedures commonly used for diagnosis and treatment include:
- Upper Endoscopy. This is often just called “endoscopy” (or esophagogastroduodenoscopy by physicians). It is used for disorders in the upper GI tract including the mouth, esophagus, stomach and small intestine.
- Colonoscopy. This might also be called a Lower Endoscopy because it is used to evaluate the lower GI tract, including the rectum and colon (or large intestine).
- Gastroscopy. Similar to an upper endoscopy, but used to specifically examine the esophagus and stomach.
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Endoscopy used to evaluate the gallbladder or assess gallstones.
- Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS). A procedure that combines endoscopy with an ultrasound to produce detailed images of the digestive tract and nearby organs, including the liver, pancreas and lymph nodes.
- Dilations. A procedure to dilate or stretch a narrowed area of the digestive tract. For instance, esophageal dilation stretches an area of the esophagus, usually in the treatment of acid reflux.
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