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Endoscopy (visual examination of a bodily canal or hollow organ)

What is an endoscopy?

An endoscopy is an examination of internal structures using a flexible viewing endoscope (a long tube with a small camera on its end). When passed orally, it is used to view structures from the esophagus to the duodenum (entrance to small intestine), including the bronchial (entrance to lungs) structures. 

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An endoscopy is an examination of internal structures using a flexible viewing endoscope (a long tube with a small camera on its end).

When passed through the anus, it is used to view structures from the rectum to the cecum (beginning of large intestine).

Similar to an endoscopy, a cystoscopy is a procedure used to examine the urethra, the bladder, and the openings into the ureters (the tube that connects the kidneys to the bladder).

Endoscopies can be performed with or without moderate sedation based on patient tolerance.

An endoscopy helps diagnose problems such as heartburn, trouble swallowing, vomiting, bleeding, blood in the urine, and abdominal pain. An endoscopy can diagnose and determine the stage inflammatory bowel disease. A small piece of tissue (biopsy) may be collected for further examination.

It also allows both diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, such as peptic ulcers, polyps, cancers, and blockages of the bile ducts due to stones, inflammation, and tumours.

An endoscopy assesses how well your digestive system works. An endoscopic ultrasound may also help create images of hard-to-reach organs, such as your pancreas, liver and lymph nodes. It can allow the physician to biopsy hard to reach areas.

At Horizon, our team of health care professionals offer endoscopy services to help patients who have problems with their digestive system.

There are many different types of endoscopies performed at hospitals across Horizon, including (but not limited to):

  • 24-hour pH monitoring
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Capsule endoscopy
  • Double balloon endoscopy
  • Endoscopic bronchial ultrasound (EBUS)
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
  • Fibroscan
  • RFA (Radio frequency ablation for Barrett's)
  • Colonoscopy
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Esophageal motility studies
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Gastroscopy
  • Sigmoidoscopes without sedation

Gastroscopes and colonoscopes are the most common endoscopic procedures and are performed at many community hospitals, while more specialized procedures are performed at regional hospitals. Talk to your primary care provider about where your procedure might take place.

The NB Colon Cancer Screening program is now available province wide.

New Brunswickers aged 50-74 are invited by mail to participate in the program.

To request the simple at-home test, individuals must answer and return the questionnaire to the program. This will help to determine whether the at-home test is the right screening test for them.

For more information, please refer to the  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Any questions regarding cancer screening, please call 1-844-777-3443.

How is endoscopy performed?

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An endoscopy helps diagnose problems such as heartburn, trouble swallowing, vomiting, bleeding, blood in the urine, and abdominal pain. An endoscopy can diagnose and determine the stage inflammatory bowel disease. A small piece of tissue (biopsy) may be collected for further examination.

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Gastroscopes and colonoscopes are the most common endoscopic procedures and are performed at many community hospitals, while more specialized procedures are performed at regional hospitals. Talk to your primary care provider about where your procedure might take place.

Endoscopy involves passing an endoscope through your mouth, nose, anus, or bladder to look inside your body or hollow organs. The endoscope transmits an image to a screen, so the specialist can examine these organs.

You will be lying on your left side and offered medication to make you relaxed and sleepy. You may feel a bit of discomfort during the endoscopy.

The procedure generally takes no more than 30 minutes and complications are rare. You may be in the clinic for up to two hours for preparations, and to allow for the medication to wear off.

You must go home with a responsible adult (a friend or relative) by private vehicle or by taxi (the taxi driver is not responsible for you). A responsible adult must stay with you for 24 hours after your procedure.

Our nurses will contact your responsible adult when you are ready to be discharged.

The procedure may be cancelled if appropriate post-procedure arrangements aren't in place. Responsible adult must be present.

The health care team involves registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, gastroenterologists, surgeons, and support staff.

Results and specialist interpretation will then be shared with your family physician or primary health care provider.

How do I access this service?

If you are concerned about your digestion, bladder or breathing, please talk with your primary health care provider. You may be referred for an endoscopy or other tests or procedures. They may recommend an endoscopy procedure to investigate symptoms, diagnose for diseases and conditions, or treat problems in your digestive system by passing tools through the endoscope.

How do I prepare for an endoscopy?

  • Talk to your primary care provider about what you can expect.
  • Bring your Medicare card and a list of all medications.
  • Wear loose-fitting comfortable clothing.
  • Do not wear jewelry or perfumes/colognes.

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To prepare for your endoscopy, bring your Medicare card and a list of all medications, wear loose-fitting comfortable clothing, and do not wear jewelry or perfumes/colognes.

What will happen after my procedure?

You will be allowed to return home on the day of your procedure if your health care team decides you are well enough to go. Most people are ready to return home the same day. For you to go home safely we advise you that:

1. A responsible adult must take you home. If you go home by taxi you must have an adult with you, not just the taxi driver.

2. You must have a responsible adult with you for 24 hours.

3. You must not drive any motor vehicle or operate any machine with a motor for 24 hours after your surgery / procedure. This is important for your safety and the safety of others. You may be "legally impaired" if stopped by police or if in a traffic accident.

4. You must not use alcohol, recreational drugs, sedatives and potentially sedating drugs (such as cough medicine) for 24 hours after your surgery / procedure.

5. You must not go back to work or school until 24 hours after your surgery / procedure.

6. Keep away from any dangerous machinery (example, chain saws) for 24 hours after your surgery / procedure.

7. Take extra care in any situation that could be dangerous such as crossing the road, or going up and down stairs after your surgery / procedure

8. Your judgment may be less than your normal for next 24 hours. Do not make any important decisions such as signing legal papers, cheques, etc.

9. Go to the Emergency Department or call 911 immediately if you experience any shortness of breath, dizziness or other complications. Do not drive yourself.

Horizon locations offering this service:

Fredericton area

Miramichi area

Moncton area

Saint John area

Upper River Valley area

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