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An endoscopy is a test to look inside your body. A long, thin tube with a small camera inside, called an endoscope, is passed into your body through a natural opening such as your mouth. Your GP may refer you for an endoscopy if you're having certain symptoms. It will usually be done at an endoscopy unit in a hospital.

Types of endoscopy

There are different types of endoscopy that look at different parts of the body.

The type of endoscopy you have will depend on your symptoms.

  • Colonoscopy: in your bottom to check your bowels

  • Cystoscopy: in your urethra (tube where pee comes out) to check your bladder

  • Gastroscopy: in your mouth to check your oesophagus (food pipe), stomach and part of the small intestine

  • Hysteroscopy: in the vagina to check your womb

Why it's done

An endoscopy is used to diagnose and sometimes treat conditions that affect the upper part of the digestive system. The upper digestive system includes the esophagus, stomach and beginning of the small intestine (duodenum).

We may recommend an endoscopy procedure to:

  • Investigate symptoms. An endoscopy can help determine what's causing digestive signs and symptoms, such as heartburn, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing and gastrointestinal bleeding.

  • Diagnose. An endoscopy offers an opportunity to collect tissue samples (biopsy) to test for diseases and conditions that may be causing anemia, bleeding, inflammation or diarrhea. It can also detect some cancers of the upper digestive system.

  • Treat. Special tools can be passed through the endoscope to treat problems in your digestive system. For example, an endoscopy can be used to burn a bleeding vessel to stop bleeding, widen a narrow esophagus, clip off a polyp or remove a foreign object.


An endoscopy is sometimes combined with other procedures, such as an ultrasound. An ultrasound probe may be attached to the endoscope to create images of the wall of your esophagus or stomach. An endoscopic ultrasound may also help create images of hard-to-reach organs, such as your pancreas. Newer endoscopes use high-definition video to provide clearer images.


Many endoscopes are used with technology called narrow band imaging. Narrow band imaging uses special light to help better detect precancerous conditions, such as Barrett's esophagus.

What Our Patients Say

Patient SN

"After successfully undergoing the HALO procedure carried out by your good self I know I should make the time to explain how grateful I am to you for making such a significant difference to the quality of my life. Most pleasing has been how easily things have been corrected despite me having left it far too long before seeking your help."
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