Endoscopy for GI Conditions
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Gastroenterologists at Houston Methodist evaluate the esophagus, stomach and intestine with modern endoscopic procedures. We use the thinnest and least invasive equipment with your rapid recovery in mind.
Endoscopy explores the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine and anus. Endoscopic procedures make it possible for doctors to recommend treatment for upper and lower digestive system disorders.
This minimally invasive technique uses a light and a camera attached to a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope. The placement of the endoscope depends on the location of your condition in the GI tract.
Houston Methodist Hospital is ranked No. 5 by U.S. News & World Report for Gastroenterology & GI Surgery. U.S. News & World Report has also named Houston Methodist Hospital the No. 1 hospital in Texas every year since the award began and one of the nation’s best as a nationally ranked Honor Roll hospital.
Patient-Centric Surgical Procedures
Endoscopy is the vehicle for minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopic surgery). Our expert surgeons use laparoscopic techniques across many surgical specialties, including cancer and digestive surgeries.
Minimally invasive surgery creates smaller incisions, which leads to smaller scars. We use the most precise instruments available, leading to a faster recovery.
Types of GI Endoscopy We Perform
With access to state-of-the-art equipment, our center specialists perform multiple types of diagnostic procedures, including tens of thousands of colorectal screenings every year.
- Upper endoscopy – assesses interior surfaces of the esophagus and stomach by inserting an endoscope into the body. The instrument provides images for visual inspection, can take biopsies (tissue samples) and retrieve foreign objects.
- Capsule endoscopy – places a camera inside a pill-sized capsule that you swallow. The camera takes pictures of your small intestine, which is harder to reach and assess with an upper endoscopy. The instrument transmits to a belt you wear equipped with a recorder.
- Lower endoscopy (or colonoscopy) – uses an endoscope to view the colon and rectum (colonoscope). If found, polyps or other irritated tissue can be removed using the colonoscope.
GI Conditions We Diagnose
Our gastroenterologists use an endoscopy to help diagnose and treat the following conditions:
About the Endoscopy Procedure
Why is an endoscopy urgent?
If you have any of the symptoms below, it is important to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists. We will examine and diagnose your symptoms to determine the type of endoscopy that suits your condition:
- Blockage of the esophagus
- Chronic constipation
- Unexplained bleeding in the digestive tract
How do I prepare for an endoscopy?
Do not eat or drink for 6 to 8 hours before the procedure. Stop taking blood-thinning medications, such as anticoagulants or antiplatelets several days before the procedure to reduce the risk of bleeding. Follow your doctor’s guidance on which medications to discontinue.
For certain endoscopic procedures you may need an enema or laxative to ensure your digestive tract is empty.
What should I expect after the procedure?
The recovery process after an endoscopy procedure varies for inpatients versus outpatients.
We monitor inpatients in the department observation area for about 30 minutes. One visitor can stay with you. We will notify your visitor when you leave the department and return to your room.
Your doctor will order any diet and activity restrictions necessary, and your nurse will share the restrictions with your visitor. You may be drowsy for the rest of the day and should only get out of bed with assistance.
We monitor outpatients in the department observation area for about 30 to 60 minutes. One visitor can stay with you. You will need a driver to take you home if you receive sedation. Your nurse will determine when you are ready to leave based on discharge criteria.