Endoscopy (Gastroscopy, Colonoscopy & Flexible Sigmoidoscopy)
Endoscopy is the term used for a variety of non-surgical procedures used to examine internal parts of the body. The endoscope is a small, highly flexible tube with a minute video camera at the end. Endoscopic procedures are performed by a variety of consultant specialists depending on the condition to be investigated.
- Gastroscopy – the endoscope is passed through your mouth and into either the stomach. This procedure enables your consultant to identify problems in your gastrointestinal tract and, in some circumstances treat them, without surgery. Rarely does a gastroscopy require sedation. You will be offered a local anaesthetic throat spray for your procedure, this numbs your throat for up to an hour. You will be advised not to eat or drink during this time until the medication wears off.
- Colonoscopy – involves inserting a long flexible tube about the thickness of a finger, into the rectum and gradually advancing it through the colon, allowing your consultant to examine the lining of your rectum, diagnose colon and rectal problems, perform biopsies and remove polyps.
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy – the endoscope is passed through your rectum and into the left, lower part of the large bowel (and into either the left, lower part of the large bowel (the sigmoid colon). Patients are offered Entonox® for this procedure. This procedure enables your consultant to inspect the part of the colon that empties into the rectum, identify problems and in some circumstances treat them.
Endoscopies do not usually require general anaesthetic. You may be given a sedative to help you relax but many patients choose not to as there is very little discomfort associated with endoscopic procedures. The advantage of not having a sedative is that you are discharged quickly after the procedure with no restriction on your activities for the rest of the day. This particularly applies to driving, which is not allowed until the day after your procedure if you receive a sedative injection.
Your consultant will gently guide the endoscope into your body and into the area that is being examined. If required, a small tissue sample (biopsy) can be taken using a small cutting instrument attached to the end of the endoscope. Depending on the procedure, an endoscopy can take 15-60 minutes to carry out. It will usually be performed on a daycase basis, which means that you will not have to stay in hospital overnight.
In the Claremont Endoscopy Suite, Entonox® will be offered to you by a healthcare professional. They will ensure that your Entonox® supply is suitable for your use and that the equipment has been set up correctly. Entonox® is a gas – a mixture of half oxygen and half nitrous oxide that is used for pain relief. Entonox® can also be called ‘gas and air’ or ‘laughing gas’. Entonox® is used to reduce pain (a painkiller) and has a relaxing effect, without you losing consciousness or control.
It is self-administered via a patient controlled, on-demand, mouthpiece, therefore you are in full control of your own pain relief requirements. Entonox® will begin to take effect immediately when you start to inhale the gas. Entonox® works very quickly and its effects are felt almost immediately after inhalation.
The effects of Entonox® will quickly wear off once you stop breathing the gas. You will be able to control how much Entonox® you use, depending on the amount of pain you experience.
For more information on Entonox® you can view our leaflet here
Our new state-of-the-art £800,000 Endoscopy Suite opened in June 2017
The complete upgrade includes:
- Self-contained unit for better privacy and confidentiality
- State-of-the-art equipment fitted with the latest Olympus endoscopy tracking software
- Spacious and bright to improve the patient experience
- Four recovery bays
- Private procedure room with the latest technology
- Private consulting room
- Endoscopy waiting/discharge lounge
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