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An endoscopy involves examining the inside of a person's body using an endoscope. An endoscope is a medical device consisting of a long, thin, flexible (or rigid) tube which has a light and a video camera. Images of the inside of the patient's body can be seen on a screen. The whole endoscopy is recorded so that doctors can check it again. Endoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnosis medical procedure. It is used to examine the interior surfaces of an organ or tissue. The image should describe the condition of the organ including swelling, blockage, lesions, growths, mass or lesion visualized in the opening. If the procedure is a biopsy via the endoscope, it should yield a diagnosis of malignancy, stricture, polyp, adenoma, lesion, neoplasm, etc.

Endoscopies are commonly used for the diagnosis of cancer. They are used for biopsies - taking samples of tissue to find out whether it is cancerous. Thanks to an endoscope, biopsies of the intestines or lungs can be done without the need for major surgery. One of the most effective forms of endoscopy for the screening of colorectal cancer is the colonoscopy. It is done to observe the interior of the intestine and detect lesions. Depending on the seriousness of the lesion, the doctor can decide to take a sample of it or to remove it entirely.

For high risk persons, a chromocoloscopy is done; wherein a coloring agent is given to the patient to get the images of abnormal cells, even if there are no polyps. To prepare for this screening, the patient has to eat food items without fibers during the days before the colonoscopy (i.e., rice, pasta, fish). The patient has to avoid fruits, vegetables and fat meats. The day before the exam, he has to drink a laxative preparation to ensure that the intestine is empty.

Endoscopy is used to diagnose various problems within the body. The following are the body's areas where the endoscope is inserted to diagnose problems:

  • The tube is inserted in the mouth or nose to diagnose problems with larynx, bronchial tubes, esophagus, stomach and beginning of intestine.
  • The tube introduced in the anus to diagnose problems with rectum and colon.
  • The tube is insterted through the abdominal skin to diagnose problems in the abdomen or pelvic zone content (coelioscopy)

During the endoscopy it is also possible to take photos, film, do biopsies or even surgeries in order to remove tumors. By the aid of a scan sound introduced with the tube, we can also examine within an organ.

This exam sometimes requires a local, regional or general anesthesia, and so a hospitalization is needed.