I know Endoscopy and Endoscopic Ultrasound can sound a lot alike, but they are very different. I want to walk you through the purposes of each one and what they are exactly. I also will give some common reasons that a doctor may choose one of these testing procedures.
What is Endoscopy?
According to Julian Ong Endoscopy & Surgery (link), a Colorectal Surgeon in Singapore, an endoscopy is performed using a small tube that is flexible and has a light with a camera connected to the end of it. This allows the doctor to take pictures of your digestive system and other organs involved, and to view them on a monitor in real time and color.
Why is an endoscopy performed?
There are several reasons as to why a doctor would order an endoscopy. Of course, they are ordered for the patient’s best interest. If there is an issue inside the digestive tract, the doctor can identify it and know what course of action to take to make you all healthy again. Sometimes the doctor can fix the issue while inside doing the endoscopy.
Here are a few common reasons doctors may request an endoscopy:
- Constipation that does not seem to resolve or keeps coming back.
- Diarrhea on a regular basis.
- Trouble when swallowing food or beverages.
- Frequent stomach pain.
- To perform a biopsy. ( A biopsy is when small pieces of tissues are sampled to run other tests to detect the cause of any issues one may be having. Or to identify any underlying diseases or illnesses.)
Does an endoscopy cause pain?
An endoscopy does not cause any pain. A sedative is given to the patient before the procedure is to begin. You basically, go to sleep while it is happening and wake up when it is all over. A lot of times, patients do not even realize that the procedure was performed yet when they wake up.
So, the answer for most people is, no. Pain is not usually involved with an endoscopy. Doctors do their best to make their patients comfortable.
Are their risks involved when getting an endoscopy?
As with any procedure, there are risks involved. Your doctor has decided to schedule an endoscopy because the pros out weight the cons. If you have had an adverse reaction to any sedatives in the past, it good to let your doctor know.
Good communication between doctor and patient is vital. No question is too silly and a good doctor will not mind answering any of them. It is your body and health, so do not hesitate to ask any questions. Sometimes it will even help the doctors. All information is valuable to doctors and some may be vital for you.
Here are some risks involved with an endoscopy:
- A tear in the gut wall can happen.
- Reaction to Sedatives
- And some other risks.
Your doctor should go over a complete list with you before the procedure. Medicinenet.com has more information on the endoscopy procedure and risks.
What is an Endoscopic Ultrasound?
An endoscopic ultrasound is a lot different than an endoscopy, even though they sound the same. An endoscopic ultrasound is inserted with a flexible tube down the esophagus with an ultrasound attached. It is basically, a camera. The difference in this and an endoscopy, is the ultrasound uses sound waves to capture the images.
Why is an endoscopic ultrasound performed?
The reason for uses of an endoscopic ultrasound are quite different than an endoscopy. Let’s go over some of the common reasons one may have an endoscopic ultrasound performed.
- To evaluate bumps in the intestinal wall.
- Examine the muscles due to the patients with incontinence.
- Certain cancers,
- Blockage of the bowels
- To examine the lungs
The list goes on. The ASGE.org website has more information on endoscopic ultrasounds.
Are endoscopic ultrasounds painful?
A lot similar to the results of an endoscopy, patients often do not remember even having the procedure.
Are there risks involved with an endoscopic ultrasound?
As with any procedure there are risks. The risks with an endoscopic ultrasound are a lot like the risks with an endoscopy. Your doctor will go over any risks involved in the procedure before it is ever performed. You can find more information at Patient.info.net.
You can also check out this video for more information if you are interested in learning a little more about the subject.
Some Last Thoughts
Being nervous before any procedure is normal. If you have some concerns that do not seem to be giving you rest, talk to your doctor. A lot of times we are anxious over nothing, but it never hurts to clear the air and give your mind some rest. I hope you understand the differences between both procedures.