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Procedure: Flexible Endoscopy

Flexible endoscopy uses a specially designed viewing instrument to investigate organs and structures inside the body. Before you undergo an endoscopic examination, you may be given an anaesthetic or sedative. The endoscope is inserted through a natural opening, such as the mouth, or a small incision and is guided to the appropriate area by the specialist. A tiny camera at the tip of the endoscope sends views back to the eyepiece and monitor. Very fine surgical instruments may be passed down the endoscope, allowing minor procedures, such as the removal of tissue samples, to be carried out.

During the procedure

For an investigation of the stomach and duodenum, you will be asked to lie on your side. You may be sedated or have local anaesthetic sprayed on the back of your throat. A flexible endoscope is then passed into your digestive tract through your mouth.

Route of endoscope

Flexible endoscope

A flexible endoscope contains separate channels to carry water, air, a camera lens, instruments, and optical fibres. A steering control guides the tip around bends in the structure to be viewed.

Tip of endoscope

View

Endoscopic view of the duodenum

This endoscopic view shows the inside of the duodenum. An ulcer is visible on the wall.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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