Gastroscopy or Upper GI (gastrointestinal) endoscopyis a procedure performed to diagnose and in some cases, treat problems of the upper digestive system.
Upper GI endoscopycan be helpful in the evaluation or diagnosis of various problems, including difficult or painful swallowing, pain in the stomach or abdomen, and bleeding, ulcers, and tumours.
An upper GI endoscopy is both diagnostic and therapeutic. This means the test enables a diagnosis to be made upon which specific treatment can be given. If a bleeding site is identified, treatment can stop the bleeding, or if a polyp is found, it can be removed without a major operation. Other treatments can be given through the endoscope when necessary.
- Difficulty or pain on swallowing
- GI (gastrointestinal) bleeding- hematemesis, melena, or iron-deficiency anaemia
- Troublesome heartburn
- Persistent ulcer-like pain
- With anorexia or weight loss
- Taking aspirin or NSAIDs
- With a history of gastric ulcer
- Persistent nausea, vomiting, or symptoms suggestive of pyloric obstruction
- Gastric ulcer demonstrated by barium meal
- Duodenal biopsy for suspected malabsorption
Upper GI endoscopy is usually performed on an outpatient basis. The endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and light on the end. By adjusting the various controls on the endoscope, the endoscopist can safely guide the instrument to carefully examine the inside lining of the upper digestive system. The high quality picture from the endoscope is shown on a TV monitor; it gives a clear, detailed view. In many cases, upper GI endoscopy is a more precise examination than X-ray studies.
Colonoscopy is a procedure used to view large intestine (colon and rectum) using an instrument called colonoscope (a flexible tube with a small camera and lens attached). The procedure can detect inflamed tissue, ulcers, and abnormal growths. It is used to diagnose early signs of colorectal cancer, bowel disorders, abdominal pain, muscle spasms, inflamed tissue, ulcers, anal bleeding, and non-dietary weight loss.
The procedure is done under general anaesthesia. The colonoscope is inserted into the rectum which gently moves up through the colon until it reaches the cecum (junction of small and large intestine). Colonoscopy provides an instant diagnosis of many conditions of the colon and is more sensitive than X-ray.
The colonoscope is then withdrawn very slowly as the camera shows pictures of the colon and rectum onto a large screen. Polyps or growths can also be removed by colonoscopy which can be sent later for detection of cancer.
Instructions for colonoscopy
Your physician may provide you written instructions and also will be communicate verbally on how to get prepared for the colonoscopy procedure. The process is called bowel preparation.
Gastrointestinal (GI) tract should be devoid of solid food; a strict liquid diet should be followed for 1 to 3 days before the procedure. Patients should not drink beverages containing red or purple dye. Liquids that can be taken before surgery include fruit juices, plain coffee, tea, and water.
Certain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen or other blood thinning medications, iron containing preparation should be stopped before the test. Iron medications produce a dark black stool, and this makes the view inside the bowel less clear.
A laxative or an enema may be required the night before a colonoscopy. Laxative is medicine that loosens stool and increases bowel movements. Laxatives are usually swallowed in pill form or as a powder dissolved in water.
Driving is not permitted for 12 hours after colonoscopy.