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Types of Endoscopies

Endoscopy is a procedure that allows a doctor to view the inside of a person’s body. Doctors use it to diagnose diseases in the following parts of the body:

  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Colon
  • Ears
  • Nose
  • Throat
  • Heart
  • Urinary tract
  • Joints
  • Abdomen

Types of endoscopy

The most common types of endoscopy are listed below.

Name of procedure Name of tool Area or organ viewed How endoscope reaches target area
Anoscopy Anoscope Anus and/or rectum Inserted through the anus
Arthroscopy Arthroscope Joints Inserted through a small incision over the joint
Bronchoscopy Bronchoscope Trachea, or windpipe, and the lungs Inserted through the mouth
Colonoscopy Colonoscope Entire length of the colon and large intestine Inserted through the anus
Colposcopy Colposcope Vagina and cervix Placed at the vagina’s opening after a tool called a speculum dilates the vagina. It is not inserted in the body.
Cystoscopy Cystoscope Inside of the bladder Inserted through the urethra
Esophagoscopy Esophagoscope Esophagus Inserted through the mouth
Gastroscopy Gastroscope Stomach and duodenum, which is the beginning of the small intestine Inserted through the mouth
Laparoscopy Laparoscope Stomach, liver, or other abdominal organs, including female reproductive organs, including the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes Inserted through a small, surgical opening in the abdomen
Laryngoscopy Laryngoscope Larynx, or voice box Inserted through the mouth
Neuroendoscopy Neuroendoscope Areas of the brain Inserted through a small incision in the skull
Proctoscopy Proctoscope Rectum and sigmoid colon, which is the bottom part of the colon Inserted through the anus
Sigmoidoscopy Sigmoidoscope Sigmoid colon Inserted through the anus
Thoracoscopy Thoracoscope Pleura, which are the 2 membranes covering the lungs and lining the chest cavity, and structures covering the heart Inserted through a small surgical opening in chest

Doctors who do an endoscopy go through extensive training to learn these procedures. They also are continually learning about new developments in technology.

What is an endoscope?

During an endoscopy, the doctor inserts a tool called an endoscope into a person’s body. Most endoscopes are thin tubes with a powerful light and tiny camera at the end.

The endoscope’s length and flexibility depend on the part of the body the doctor needs to see.

For example, a straight endoscope helps a doctor look at joints. Meanwhile, a flexible one helps a doctor view the inside of the colon.

Other tools used during an endoscopy

Typically, an endoscope has a channel through which the doctor can insert tools. These tools collect tissue or provide treatment.

Types of tools include:

  • Flexible forceps. These tong-like tools take a tissue sample.
  • Biopsy forceps. These remove a tissue sample or a suspicious growth.
  • Cytology brushes. These take cell samples.
  • Suture removal forceps. These remove stitches inside the body


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