What is endoscopy?
Endoscopy is the use of specialized video cameras to evaluate areas within the body in a minimally invasive manner. In most instances, endoscopy is performed for diagnostic purposes allowing visualization and sampling of abnormalities. However, endoscopy can also be used for therapeutic purposes as well, termed interventional endoscopy.
Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Upper GI endoscopy typically involves performing esophagoscopy, gastroscopy, and duodenoscopy together. In some cases, these procedures may be performed on an individual basis.
This procedure allows evaluation of the esophagus and can be useful in patients with clinical signs such as regurgitation, excessive drooling, or difficulty swallowing. Esophagoscopy can be utilized to diagnosis diseases such as esophagitis, esophageal masses, esophageal strictures, and esophageal foreign bodies. Treatment of the latter two conditions can be performed endoscopically.
Gastroscopy allows thorough evaluation of the inside of the stomach. The procedure is of benefit in evaluating patients with conditions such as chronic vomiting, anorexia, suspected GI bleeding, or gastric masses. In most cases, a diagnosis cannot be made simply by visual inspection of the stomach. However, using the endoscope, biopsy samples can be obtained and submitted for microscopic assessment that may allow a more definitive diagnosis without the need for surgery.
This procedure allows for evaluation of the duodenum, the first segment of the small intestine. In some cases, the beginning of the next segment, called the jejunum, may also be reached for evaluation. Indications and benefits are the same as for gastroscopy but also include evaluation of patients with chronic diarrhea. In addition, the duodenal papillae, where the bile and pancreatic ducts enter the duodenum, can also be evaluated.
Info provided by University of Florida Small Animal Hospital