There could be many reasons why your doctor has recommended that you get an endoscopy to help determine what might be causing your pain. It is a simple diagnostic procedure that helps them to see the lining and walls of your entire GI tract; from the oesophagus all the way to the rectum.
By being able to see this tract, they will be able to diagnose the exact problem and provide you with a treatment plan to help you feel better.
What is an endoscopy?
An endoscopy is a very thin and flexible tube that typically has a camera and light at the end. The thin tube is able to be inserted either into a patient’s throat or rectum and can be guided through the body, providing a live image back to the doctor. This live feed enables them to then see inside the body and examine for any problems or tears.
When would you need one?
After you have initially spoken to your doctor and they have spoken with you through your symptoms, they might then order an endoscopy to look for further problems to help their diagnosis. Typically this will be for a patient who is experiencing abdominal pain, bowel changes, chronic heartburn or has signs of intestinal bleeding.
Similarly it can help reveal signs of cancer, so patients with a family history of colon cancer or one who has a personal history of colon polyps should be examined to keep track of their health.
Most doctors will also recommend that men and women over a certain age have a regular endoscopy to check for potential illnesses. People over 50 typically have a higher risk of colon cancer so a standard screening can detect for early signs.