Summary: An endoscopy and colonoscopy are different kinds of endoscopic exams. A digestive specialist uses them to identify conditions affecting the GI system.
Have you been experiencing unexplained abdominal discomfort or a bowel disorder? Endoscopic procedures can serve as a minimally invasive solution to assess the gastrointestinal (GI) issues you might be suffering from. Our gastrointestinal doctors in Jackson, MS utilize endoscopic processes to view the various parts of the digestive system. These options help minimize the need for more invasive procedures and long recovery periods.
An endoscopy is a procedure that assists with the identification of conditions affecting the throat, esophagus, stomach, and abdomen. One of the most widely known endoscopic procedures is the colonoscopy, which is integral in detecting and reducing the risk of colon and rectal cancer.
What are the primary differences between colonoscopies vs. endoscopies, and how can such endoscopic options help monitor your health? Continue reading to understand more about these services provided at GI Associates & Endoscopy Center. Our gastroenterology team strives to ensure residents in the Jackson, MS area receive the treatment they need for digestive conditions.
What are the variations between colonoscopies and endoscopies?
While an endoscope (a long, thin, and flexible tube fitted with a light and camera) is used to obtain high-quality photos for both a colonoscopy and an endoscopy, there are a few primary distinctions between the procedures.
In cases where the upper portion of the gastrointestinal system needs to be examined, an upper endoscopy might be performed. During this procedure, the endoscope device is positioned in your mouth and gently moved through the throat into your esophagus, stomach, and small bowel. In contrast, a colonoscopy may be ordered if the lower part of the digestive system needs to be assessed. To perform a colonoscopy process, the endoscope is inserted into the rectum and moved up into the colon.
Further differences include how patients prepare for endoscopies vs. colonoscopies. When prepping for a colonoscopy, you’ll likely be allowed to only drink clear liquids for 24 hours beforehand. Instructions on how to clear your GI system of stool will be provided and might involve the use of cleansing solutions or laxative products. This allows for easy assessment of the rectum and large intestine.
The preparatory approach for an upper endoscopy procedure is less intensive. You may be advised to avoid consuming any food and beverages for about six hours before the exam and cease taking certain blood thinners as advised by your doctor. If you'd like to learn more about the variations between an endoscopy vs. a colonoscopy, schedule an appointment with our GI Associates & Endoscopy Center team to have your questions answered.
How are endoscopies carried out?
To perform an endoscopy procedure, a slender, bendable tube (endoscope) is placed into the mouth and gently moved beyond the throat and esophagus until it reaches the small bowel. If required, special equipment can be attached to the endoscope device to help provide solutions for a variety of ailments. Various tools can be used to extract tissue samples, retrieve food caught in the upper GI tract, or dilate a stricture (narrowed area).
The reasons behind requiring an endoscopy procedure can vary. If you have symptoms that affect your daily life, one of our endoscopy specialists in Jackson, MS may recommend scheduling this exam. It can allow our team to determine the treatment necessary for your ailment. In general, an endoscopy can be a great approach if you experience the following:
- Ongoing heartburn or chest pain
- Constant bowel changes (such as constipation or diarrhea)
- Blood in the stool
- Unexplained abdominal pain
How are colonoscopies conducted?
With a colonoscopy, an endoscope is gently inserted into the rectum and advanced into the colon. This scope sends live video images to a monitor so the doctor can assess the large intestine. During the course of the exam, tissue samples can be taken to detect whether cancer cells have developed, and precancerous growths (polyps) can be extracted.
It's crucial to schedule a colonoscopy procedure if your family has a history of colon or rectal cancer or if you are age 45 or older. Colonoscopy exams may also be conducted if you experience the following symptoms on a regular basis:
- Narrow or thin stools
- Bloody stools
- Unexplained weight loss
- Change in bowel habits
- Abdominal cramping
- Bleeding from the rectum
- Ongoing fatigue
Find relief from GI problems with endoscopic options
An endoscopic approach can allow your healthcare practitioner to detect and treat GI concerns like blockages, growths, unexplained abdominal pain, and other problems. When you schedule a visit at GI Associates & Endoscopy Center, compassionate care for GI conditions is close at hand. We are here to help you experience relief from GI issues and intestinal conditions. Reach out to our digestive health specialists in Jackson, MS to request a consultation.