The most appropriate type of endoscopy for you will depend on where your doctor believes your symptoms may be located. Gastrointestinal problems can be difficult to solve, and communicating with your doctor about your symptoms is essential for them to determine which tests may be most expedient. The doctors at Advanced Digestive Care want to help, and this article provides a brief introduction to the different procedures and help you talk with your Clearwater, FL physician.
What is an Endoscopy?
Taken most generally, an endoscopy is any procedure in which a scope (usually a thin, flexible tube) is inserted into the body. These are primarily diagnostic procedures, i.e. only used to gather information about potential medical conditions, but can be used to carry out therapeutic procedures in some cases. Your health care provider may recommend you see a gastroenterologist for an endoscopy if you are experiencing any symptoms like abdominal pain, heartburn, stomach or intestinal bleeding, weight loss, or many others, depending on your specific medical history and presentation. Some types of endoscopy, such as colonoscopy, are part of preventative care and will be suggested even in the absence of symptoms.
If you suffer from a problem related to your duodenum, stomach, esophagus, pancreas, or gallbladder, (e.g. heartburn, difficulty swallowing, or gall stones), your Clearwater doctor may recommend an upper GI endoscopy. In this procedure, a thin flexible tube with a light and a camera is inserted through the mouth and used to examine the relevant areas, or inject dye so that better images can be taken of the area. For examination of the large bowel (colon), a colonoscopy may be required. For both these procedures, sedation is provided to keep you relaxed and comfortable throughout.
To examine the small intestine, a different method called capsule endoscopy is used. A small, self-contained camera and transmitter the size of a large pill is swallowed. As it travels through the digestive tract (taking roughly 8 hours), it wirelessly transmits pictures to a receiver worn on the belt. This kind of endoscopy is most commonly used in cases of chronic bowel diseases, like Crohn’s, and difficult-to-trace internal bleeding.
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In the Clearwater, FL area, contact the caring and professional practice of Advanced Digestive Care. If you are experiencing gastrointestinal problems or pain, don’t wait--the sooner you seek treatment and care, the sooner you can get your health back on track!