Advanced endoscopy is used to diagnose and treat certain conditions of the gastrointestinal tract that may not be identified or treated using routine endoscopy.
The various advanced endoscopic techniques include:
Enteroscopy: This procedure involves the use of an extended-length endoscope which is about two and a half times longer than the standard endoscope. It allows for evaluation of a larger portion of the small bowel. It is usually used to identify and treat areas of bleeding.
Endoscopic Stenting: Stents can be inserted using advanced endoscopic techniques to open strictures in the oesophagus, biliary tree, colon, and the duodenal region. The stents may be used to provide permanent therapy, bridge therapy until surgery, or as palliative therapy to relieve obstruction.
Endoscopic Ultrasound: An ultrasound device is attached to the endoscope which is then introduced through the mouth into the gastrointestinal tract. Ultrasound images are then taken from within the GI tract to provide an in-depth view of the digestive tract and surrounding structures.
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography: This is a diagnostic procedure used to evaluate the biliary tree which includes the gallbladder, bile duct, and pancreatic duct. A special endoscope is used to inject a dye into the biliary tree. The dye facilitates visualisation of the biliary tree on X-ray imaging allowing the detection of stones, strictures, or tumours.
Capsule endoscopy: This technique is used to diagnose disorders of the small intestine. It involves swallowing a pill that contains a mini digital camera and light source that obtains images as it passes down the tract and transmits them to an external receiver.
Other Endoscopic Therapies: Advanced endoscopic treatment options for gastrointestinal bleeding include banding and sclerotherapy to treat variceal bleeding; cauterisation, clipping and injection therapy for bleeding ulcers; and haemorrhoid sclerotherapy. Many large polyps and early-stage cancers that previously required surgery can now be treated using advanced endoscopy.