What is an endoscopy?

Harsha Vittal, MD
For endoscopy, doctors use a long tube with a camera on one end to look inside the upper gastrointestinal tract. Watch  gastroenterologist Harsha Vittal, MD, of Good Samaritan Hospital describe what doctors look for during the procedure.
Endoscopy is performed on the upper and lower gastrointestinal, or GI, tract. In this video, Kesha Culbertson, RN, of Riverside Community Hospital, explains how an endoscope is used during this nonsurgical procedure.
Jonathan Aviv, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)
An upper GI endoscopy is a procedure that utilizes an internal camera to look at the throat, esophagus or stomach; this requires the use of sedation. In this video, otolaryngologist Jonathan Aviv, MD, explains the endoscopy procedure and its risks.

An endoscopy is a test used to evaluate the extent of damage to the tissue in the esophagus. During the test, a tube slides down the throat. Too much damage puts you at risk for a precancerous condition called Barrett's esophagus and for esophageal cancer. Depending on the damage, a doctor might recommend surgery to reinforce the esophageal sphincter, a valve that, when faulty, causes stomach acid to back into the esophagus.

Endoscopy is a procedure which provides direct visualization of the GI tract with a flexible tube with a camera and light attached. It may be scheduled to evaluate bleeding, ulcers, inflammation, tumors and cancer of the GI tract and helps your doctor make a diagnosis. There are several types of endoscopic procedures.


An upper endoscopy is used to examine the esophagus, stomach and upper small intestine. In this video, Sharmila Anandasabapathy, MD, a gastroenterologist at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, describes how the procedure is performed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.