A range of endoscopy procedures are used to look at different internal organs and tissues.

An endoscopy is a procedure that's performed to look inside the body at a specific organ.

The procedure is used to detect a range of conditions and diseases.

Your doctor will insert an endoscope into your body through an entryway (mouth, anus, vagina, nose, or urethra) or through an incision.

What Is an Endoscope?

Endoscopies are done with an endoscope.

Endoscopes come in different shapes and lengths, each designed to look at different parts of the body.

Most are thin, hollow, flexible tubes that have a light attached. Some also come with a tiny video camera attached that transmits images to a computer.

The newest versions of endoscopes are small enough to be swallowed and send images wirelessly to a computer.

Types of Endoscopies

The types of endoscopies include:

  • Arthroscopy: Used to examine your joints
  • Bronchoscopy: Used to examine the trachea and bronchi through your mouth or nose
  • Colonoscopy: Used to examine your colon and large intestines through your anus
  • Cystoscopy: Used to examine your bladder through your urethra
  • Enteroscopy: Used to examine your small intestines via your mouth or anus
  • Gastroscopy or upper endoscopy: Used to examine your stomach, esophagus, and duodenum via your mouth using an esophagogastroduodenoscope
  • Hysteroscopy: A hysteroscope is passed through the vagina and through the cervix in order to examine the uterus
  • Laparoscopy: Used to examine the organs and tissues of your abdomen and pelvis via an incision in your stomach
  • Laryngoscopy: Used to examine your larynx via your mouth or nose
  • Mediastinoscopy: Used to examine the space between your lungs via an incision above your sternum
  • Sigmoidoscopy: Used to examine your rectum and lower part of your large colon via your anus
  • Thoracoscopy: Used to examine your chest cavity and its contents (your lungs and the covering of the lungs) via an incision in your chest

Editorial Sources and Fact-Checking

  • Endoscopy (MedlinePlus).
  • What is Endoscopy (American Cancer Society).


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