Colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure during which your large bowel (colon and rectum) is examined from the inside. Colonoscopies are usually used to evaluate symptoms like abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, or changes in bowel habits. They are also used to screen for colorectal cancer.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a routine outpatient procedure in which the inner lining of the lower large intestine, called the sigmoid colon, is examined. The procedure is commonly used to evaluate gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, or changes in bowel habits. It is also performed to screen people over age 50 for colon and rectal cancer.
Esophageal dilation is a procedure that allows your doctor to dilate, or stretch, a narrowed area of your esophagus [swallowing tube]. Doctors can use various techniques for this procedure. Your doctor might perform the procedure as part of a sedated endoscopy. Alternatively, your doctor might apply a local anesthetic spray to the back of your throat and then pass a weighted dilator through your mouth and into your esophagus.
Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (EGD)
An upper gastrointestinal (UGI) endoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to look at the interior lining of your esophagus, your stomach, and the first part of your small intestine (duodenum) through a thin, flexible viewing instrument called an endoscope. The tip of the endoscope is inserted through your mouth and then gently moved down your throat into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (upper gastrointestinal tract).
Since the entire upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract can be examined during this test, the procedure is sometimes called esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD).
Using the endoscope, your doctor can look for ulcers, inflammation, tumors, infection, or bleeding. Tissue samples can be collected (biopsy), polyps can be removed, and bleeding can be treated through the endoscope. Endoscopy can reveal problems that do not show up on X-ray tests, and it can sometimes eliminate the need for exploratory surgery.