Endoscopy

+ -Text Size

TOPICS

What is endoscopy?

Endoscopy (en-dahs-kuh-pee) is a medical procedure that uses an instrument called an endoscope (en-duh-skop). The endoscope is put into the body to look inside, and is sometimes used for certain kinds of surgery.

Looking with an endoscope is different from using imaging tests, like x-rays and CT scans, which can get pictures of the inside the body without putting tools or devices into it.

There are many different kinds of endoscopes, or “scopes.” Most are like thin, hollow tubes that allow the doctor to look right into the body. Most are lighted, and some have a small video camera on the end that puts pictures on a computer screen. Some endoscopes are stiff, while others are flexible. Endoscopes can vary in length and shape. There’s a new one small enough to be swallowed, which transmits images wirelessly. Each type is specially designed for looking at a certain part of the body.

Depending on the area of the body being looked at, the endoscope may be put in the mouth, anus, or urethra (your-ee-thruh) (the tube that carries urine out of the bladder). In some cases, it’s put in through a small incision (cut) made in the skin.

Some types of endoscopes and the areas of the body they view

    Type of endoscope

    Put in through

    Body part or area(s) looked at

    Name(s) of procedure

    Arthroscope

    Cuts in the skin

    Joints

    Arthroscopy

    Bronchoscope

    Mouth or nose

    Trachea (windpipe) and bronchi (tubes going to the lungs)

    Bronchoscopy,
    flexible bronchoscopy

    Colonoscope

    Anus

    Colon and
    large intestine

    Colonoscopy,
    lower endoscopy

    Cystoscope

    Urethra

    Bladder

    cystoscopy,
    cystourethroscopy

    Enteroscope

    Mouth or anus

    Small intestine

    Enteroscopy

    Esophagogastroduodeno-scope

    Mouth

    Esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, and duodenum (first part of small intestine)

    Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD),
    upper endoscopy,
    panendoscopy,
    gastroscopy

    Hysteroscope

    Vagina

    Inside of uterus

    Hysteroscopy

    Laparoscope

    Cut(s) in the abdomen (belly)

    Space inside abdomen and pelvis

    Laparoscopy,
    peritoneal endoscopy

    Laryngoscope

    Mouth or nose

    Larynx (voice box)

    Laryngoscopy

    Mediastinoscope

    Cut(s) above the sternum (breastbone)

    Mediastinum (space between the lungs)

    Mediastinoscopy

    Sigmoidoscope,
    flexible sigmoidoscope

    Anus

    Rectum and sigmoid colon (lower part of large intestine)

    Sigmoidoscopy,
    flexible sigmoidoscopy,
    proctosigmoidoscopy

    Thoracoscope

    Cut(s) in the chest

    Space between lungs and chest wall

    Thoracoscopy,
    pleuroscopy


Last Medical Review: 12/10/2012
Last Revised: 02/06/2013