What is endoscopy?

Endoscopy is a medical procedure performed with an instrument called an endoscope. An endoscope is a flexible tube with an attached camera that allows a doctor to see inside your body. Depending on the area of the body being looked at, the endoscope may be inserted in your body through your nose, mouth, anus or urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the bladder). Sometimes, doctors put the endoscope put through a small incision made in your skin.

When your doctor suggests that you have an endoscopy, he or she is usually looking at a specific organ or area of the body that they think may be damaged. A biopsy can be taken during an endoscopy.

Common endoscopies include:
Arthroscopy – Used to examine your joints; inserted through a small incision near the joint being examined.
Bronchoscopy – Used to examine your lungs; inserted through your nose or mouth.
Colonoscopy – Used to examine your colon; inserted through your anus.
Cystoscopy – Used to examine your bladder; inserted through your urethra.
Enteroscopy – Used to examine your small intestine; inserted through your mouth or anus.
Hysteroscopy – Used to examine the inside of your uterus; inserted through your vagina.
Laparoscopy – Used to examine your abdominal or pelvic area; inserted through a small incision near the area that’s being examined.
Laryngoscopy – Used to examine your voice box, or larynx; inserted through your nose or mouth.
Mediastinoscopy – Used to examine the area between the lungs; inserted through an incision above your breastbone.
Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy – Used to examine your esophagus and upper intestinal tract; inserted through your mouth.
Ureteroscopy – Used to examine your ureter; inserted through your urethra.

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