Endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows for visual examination of the internal organs for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. The procedure uses a thin, tube-like instrument with a camera on the end to allow the doctor to view the organs on a monitor. A doctor may perform an endoscopy to collect tissue samples for a biopsy, remove tumors, and provide a thorough view of a specific area. The endoscopy is a beneficial procedure because it is less invasive and safer than surgery and has minimal scarring and recovery times.

Types of Endoscopy

Specialized instruments are used during an endoscopy to examine different parts of an animal's body. A typical endoscopy is an exam of the esophagus, stomach and intestines. Additional types of endoscopy examinations may include:

  • Bronchoscopy to examine lower airways
  • Colonoscopy to examine the colon, bowel and rectum
  • Arthroscopy, which is an examination of soft tissue structures and joints
  • Rhinoscopy provides an exam of the nasal cavity
  • Thoracoscopy which views the chest cavity

Reasons for Endoscopy

In addition to biopsy and tumor removal, an endoscopy is also an option for diagnosis, and a veterinarian may perform an endoscopy on a pet to investigate the causes of the following conditions:

  • Nasal or breathing problems
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Digestive and bowel disorders
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer

In some cases, an endoscopy may also be used to remove a foreign object.

An endoscopy may be recommended after a physical examination and other diagnostic tests have been performed. Most pets will go home the day of the procedure and will not experience any pain or discomfort after the procedure. Complications from the endoscopy procedure are rare, but all risks should be discussed with a veterinarian prior to the procedure.

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