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What is an endoscopic examination?

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An endoscopic examination is a medical procedure where doctors insert an endoscope, or a small tube with a lighted camera, into the body through an orifice or incision to view internal organs, explains Healthline. The endoscope may also contain forceps and scissors, which allow doctors to take a sample of the body for biopsy.

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There are different types of endoscopic examinations, including an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, cystoscopy, colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy, informs Beaumont Health. In an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or upper endoscopy, a doctor inserts the endoscope through the mouth to view the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. In an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, the doctor also inserts an endoscope through the mouth, but he injects a special dye into the body through a tube in the endoscope, which allows him to view the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and pancreas on an X-ray. A cystoscopy allows a doctor to examine the bladder and urinary tract by inserting an endoscope through the urethra.

A doctor may perform an endoscopic examination to test for damage, infection or cancer of an organ or a certain part of the body, states Healthline. An endoscopy may also inform a doctor as to whether or not he can treat the issue without surgery. Other types of endoscopic examinations include arthroscopy, which examines the joints; laparoscopy, which examines the pelvic area through a small incision; and a mediastinoscopy, which examines the area between the lungs through a small incision near the breastbone.

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