Endoscopy refers to any procedure undertaken to examine the inside of the body with an instrument called an endoscope. For example, endoscopy of the stomach is termed ‘gastroscopy’ and endoscopy of the large bowel (colon) is termed ‘colonoscopy’.
The endoscope itself is a long, thin, flexible tube which has a light source and camera at the end which is inserted into the body (e.g. Mouth/ back passage). Images of the inside of your body are relayed to a television screen and are viewed by the user maneuvering the scope (endoscopist).
Small tissue samples (biopsies) can be easily (and painlessly) taken with the use of small forceps passed through the scope. In addition, therapy can be performed such as balloon dilatation of strictures (stretching of narrowed areas), removal of pre-cancerous polyps and administering therapy for bleeding.