Endoscopy (or scopes) is a day-case procedure performed only by trained experts. At Mark Wong Surgery, our specialist provides both gastroscopy and colonoscopy services. Both procedures can be safely performed at the same session.
Our specialist and team will assist and guide you through the process, give clear explanations on why the endoscopy is necessary, the options available and what you can expect during the procedure.
What is an Endoscopy?
An endoscopy is a procedure that allows trained experts to look inside organs to determine the cause and status of a patient’s condition. A flexible tube that has a light and a camera, known as an endoscope, is used in this medical examination. It is attached to a high-definition TV monitor, making it possible for our specialist to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions.
The endoscope takes pictures of the internal surfaces of the organ systems, allowing biopsies to be performed (e.g. polyps and cancer) and treatment to be performed (e.g. stop bleeding).
These can all be performed as day-case procedures with the patient comfortably asleep (monitored sedation), without the need for general anesthesia or an overnight stay.
When do you need an Endoscopy?
Endoscopy is usually needed when you have symptoms related to your digestive system, such as abdominal pain or bleeding. Endoscopy allows our specialist to examine the inner surface of your digestive organs such as the stomach, colon and rectum. Depending on the type of procedure, the examination is either done though the mouth or anus.
This helps our specialist to do the following:
- Determine the cause of any symptom you have.
- Taking a tissue sample (e.g. from a cancer) for laboratory testing.
- Enable your doctor to perform treatment like stopping bleeding ulcers.
In the event that you have symptoms of the following conditions, our specialist may advise an Endoscopy:
- Pain in abdomen
- Changes in bowel habits such as constipation or diarrhea
- Unexplained weight loss
- Strong family history of cancers of the digestive system
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Gastrointestinal bleeding (e.g. Frank rectal bleeding or Positive occult blood in stool)
- Any other digestive tract issues
Our specialist will also perform a thorough review of your symptoms and physical examination prior to doing the endoscopy. He might also advise some blood tests or scans to better understand the cause of your symptoms.
Preparation for Endoscopy
Endoscopy takes around 30 to 60 minutes to complete and does not require an overnight stay. Endoscopy of the stomach is done after a minimum of 6 hours of fasting (empty stomach) so that the inner surface can be clearly seen. For endoscopy of the lower half of the abdomen (colon, rectum and anus), in addition the 6 hours fasting, special laxatives are given for clearing stool from the system.
Our dedicated team will provide more detailed instructions on how to prepare for the procedures.
Sedation is provided for endoscopic examinations that allows patients to be comfortably asleep throughout the procedure. This is not general anesthesia and the effects are thus milder and patients can return to work the next day.
Is Endoscopy safe?
Although patients often feel anxious about endoscopy, it is a safe procedure.
Our specialist and team will guide you through the entire process and show you that it is really just a walk-in-the-park!