Modern, spacious Endoscopy Suite

Endoscopy

 

What is an Endoscopy?

An endoscopy is a non-surgical procedure that uses an endoscope to examine the digestive tract. An endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube that has a light and camera at one end. Images of the inside of your body are shown on a television screen. The endoscope's length and flexibility will depend on the part of the body being examined.

An endoscopy is used to investigate the cause of your symptoms, diagnose your condition and, sometimes, treat conditions.

 

Why do I need an Endoscopy?

An endoscopy may be recommended if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • difficulty swallowing
  • regular or continual stomach pain
  • regular diarrhoea or nausea
  • constipation
  • unintentional weight loss
  • regular heartburn or indigestion
  • blood in your poo
  • polyps or growths in the colon

 

Different types of endoscopy

An upper endoscopy is a procedure used to examine your upper digestive system by inserting the endoscope via your throat to view the oesophagus, stomach and the upper part of the small intestine. Upper endoscopy procedures performed at One Hatfield include Gastroscopy, also known as Upper GI Endoscopy.

A lower endoscopy examines your lower digestive system by inserting the endoscope via your rectum to examine the rectum and large intestine, or colon. Lower endoscopy procedures include Colonoscopy, to examine the entire colon, and Flexible Sigmoidoscopy to examine just the rectum and lower part of the colon.

 

How do I prepare for an endoscopy?

Upper endoscopy - You will usually be required to stop eating food for 6 hours before your upper endoscopy procedure.

Lower endoscopy – You will be given a laxative to take the day before to make sure your bowels are empty before the procedure. Following a low residue diet for 48 hours before you lower endoscopy procedure is usually advised.

You will receive full guidance on how to prepare at your pre-operative assessment.

 

What to expect

An endoscopy is not usually painful, but it can be uncomfortable. An anaesthetising throat spray will be given for an upper endoscopy procedure.

An endoscopy will is usually done while you're awake but you may be offered a sedative to help you relax.

The procedure will take 15 to 45 minutes.

You will be able to go home after your procedure but you will not be able to drive due to the effects of the sedative.

 

How to arrange an appointment

A referral is required from your GP or Consultant for all endoscopic procedures, to ensure the tests are clinically appropriate for you.

To make an appointment at One Hatfield Hospital in Hertfordshire, please contact the reservations team on 01707 862 942, or enquire here