Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy

The best method of examining the stomach and the large intestine is using a flexible endoscope. At the end of the endoscope, there are bright LED lights and a camera system that allows for high definition images to be seen and recorded. Within the endoscope are channels that allow for suction and also placement of small instruments to allow for biopsy and removal of tissue, such as polyps.

Gastroscopy is used to examine the stomach. It is used to assess patients with stomach pains and can evaluate ulcers, stomach polyps, acid-reflux disease, as well as gastric cancer.

Colonoscopy is the gold standard for examining the large intestine for colon cancer. It is also used to assess patients for inflammation and bleeding. Colonoscopy does require a bowel cleanse in order to clearly see the colon. This is usually performed the day before.

Endoscopy is a very common and safe procedure. However, there are small risks associated with endoscopy. For colonoscopy, there is a small risk of causing an injury or perforation of the large intestine that can usually be treated without surgery. There is also a small 1% chance that, if the large intestine is very tortuous or long, it may not be able to see the entire colon. Lastly, there is a small risk of missing a small cancer in 1% of patients.

With both gastroscopy and colonoscopy, some sort of sedation is required to make the procedure comfortable for patients. At PEH, we can arrange for Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy in a timely manner. We can arrange for this either at a private office facility that offers IV sedation or at a private surgical facility that includes an anesthetist who can offer completely pain free endoscopy with what is similar to a general anesthetic.