Endoscopies are common procedures that help us detect, diagnose and treat digestive conditions, including colon cancer.

If you’ve been told you need an endoscopic procedure such as a colonoscopy, you may wonder what it entails. Endoscopy is an extremely common, minimally-invasive procedure typically performed under mild sedation. Patients go home the same day.

In an endoscopy, we examine inside the body using a small, flexible tube with a camera attached (a scope). Scopeshelp us see the digestive tract, esophagus, stomach, rectum and other organs. We use endoscopy to diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions.


Colonoscopies are the most common endoscopic procedures. This procedure is recommended as a preventive colon cancer screening for anyone age 50 and older.

During a colonoscopy, a scope is inserted through the rectum. The doctor will look for abnormal growths called polyps, inflammation, ulcers and bleeding in the rectum and large intestine.

Other endoscopic procedures

Your doctor may recommend a variety of other endoscopic procedures, depending on your condition and unique needs. Other procedures we offer include:

  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) – A scope guided through the mouth and throat to look at the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and pancreas
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) – A scope guided through the mouth and throat to examine the inside of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum
  • Sigmoidoscopy – A scope inserted through the rectum to look at a portion of the large intestine and identify causes of diarrhea, stomach pain, constipation or bleeding
  • Bronchoscopy – A scope inserted through the mouth or nose to examine the trachea and bronchi
  • Cystoscopy – A scope inserted through the urethra to examine the bladder and urinary tract
  • Laryngoscopy – A scope inserted through the mouth to look at the back of the throat, voice box and vocal cords

Preparing for an endoscopy

Depending on the portion of the digestive tract to be examined, you may be asked to complete various kinds of prep. This may include fasting for 6 to 8 hours prior to a procedure, or clearing out the colon with prescribed laxatives. For most examinations with an endoscope, a sedative is provided to relax you into a light sleep. This ensures your comfort throughout the procedure.

Learn what to expect before an endoscopy.

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