If you’re suffering from a digestive problem, your doctor may recommend an endoscopic procedure. Endoscopic procedures use a flexible, lighted tube with a video camera on the end to visually inspect the entire digestive system, from your esophagus to your colon. Doctors can also use this minimally-invasive technique to remove polyps and perform minor surgeries using miniature tools on the tip of a small endoscope threaded through the first endoscope.
In the Sutter Health network, we offer the full range of routine endoscopy services. Common procedures include:
- Capsule Endoscopy — Swallowing a capsule that contains a tiny wireless camera lets your doctor see and evaluate the inside wall of your small intestine. As the capsule moves naturally through your digestive tract, the camera takes thousands of pictures. This simple procedure is useful for finding sources of bleeding in the small intestines and to detect diseases such as Crohn's disease and cancer.
- Colonoscopy — Using an endoscope with a video camera on the end, your doctor can examine the colon and rectum for abnormalities and changes. This procedure may help your doctor diagnose the cause of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea and other problems. It’s also the golden standard for colon cancer screening. If precancerous polyps are found, they can be removed during the procedure.
- Sigmoidoscopy — A procedure that is used to look inside the lower part of the gastrointestinal tract, mainly the sigmoid colon and rectum. This can help doctors diagnose cancer, unexplained changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, anal bleeding and weight loss.
- Upper GI Endoscopy — An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, or esophagogastroduodenoscopy, lets your doctor look at the interior lining of your esophagus, your stomach and the first part of your small intestine. Using the endoscope, your doctor can look for ulcers, inflammation, tumors, infection or bleeding. Tissue samples can be collected, polyps can be removed and bleeding can be treated through the endoscope.
Health and Wellness
Colonoscopy Myths Debunked
If you’re age 50 or older, you’ll likely have a colonoscopy within the next decade. Some people fear the procedure is painful or have misconceptions about colon cancer. Sutter Health network experts share what to expect and what you need to know.