Patient Education


This article collection was developed by the Publications Committee of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). For more information about ASGE, visit www.asge.org.

This information is intended only to provide general guidance. It does not provide definitive medical advice. It is important that you consult your doctor about your specific condition.


Understanding Upper Endoscopy

Upper endoscopy lets your doctor examine the lining of the upper part of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (the first portion of the small intestine).

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Understanding Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy lets your doctor examine the lining of your large intestine (colon) for abnormalities by inserting a thin flexible tube, as thick as your finger, into your anus and slowly advancing it into the rectum and colon.

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Understanding Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Flexible sigmoidoscopy lets your doctor examine the lining of the rectum and a portion of the colon (large intestine) by inserting a flexible tube into the anus and slowly advancing it into the rectum and lower part of the colon.

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Understanding Capsule Endoscopy

Your doctor will give you a pill-sized video camera for you to swallow. This camera has its own light source and takes pictures of your small intestine as it passes through.

read more

Understanding Diverticulosis

Diverticulosis is a condition in which there are small pouches or pockets in the wall or lining of any portion of the digestive tract. These pockets occur when the inner layer of the digestive tract pushes through weak spots in the outer layer.

read more

Understanding Esophageal Testing or Manometry

Abnormalities in the muscle or in the sphincter at the lower end of the esophagus can result in pain, heartburn, and/or difficulty swallowing. Esophageal manometry is used to diagnose the conditions that can cause these symptoms.

read more

Understanding Minor Rectal Bleeding

Minor rectal bleeding refers to the passage of a few drops of bright red (fresh) blood from the rectum, which may appear on the stool, on the toilet paper or in the toilet bowl.

read more

ERCP

Endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography, or ERCP, is a specialized technique used to study the bile ducts, pancreatic duct and gallbladder.

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Understanding Bowel Preparation

It is extremely important that your colon be thoroughly cleaned before your colonoscopy. This will let the doctor see any abnormalities, such as colon polyps, during the procedure.

read more

Understanding Barrett’s Esophagus

Barrett’s esophagus is a condition in which the lining of the esophagus changes, becoming more like the lining of the small intestine than the esophagus. This occurs in the area where the esophagus is joined to the stomach.

read more

Understanding Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when contents in the stomach flow back into the esophagus. This happens when the valve between the stomach and the esophagus, known as the lower esophageal sphincter, does not close properly.

read more
Understanding Colon Cancer Screening

Approximately 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed every year in the United States and nearly 50,000 people die from the disease.

Understanding Upper Endoscopy

Upper endoscopy lets your doctor examine the lining of the upper part of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (the first portion of the small intestine).

Understanding Endoscopic Ultrasonography

Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) allows your doctor to examine your esophageal and stomach linings as well as the walls of your upper and lower gastrointestinal tract.

Understanding Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy lets your doctor examine the lining of your large intestine (colon) for abnormalities by inserting a thin flexible tube, as thick as your finger, into your anus and slowly advancing it into the rectum and colon.

Understanding Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Flexible sigmoidoscopy lets your doctor examine the lining of the rectum and a portion of the colon (large intestine) by inserting a flexible tube into the anus and slowly advancing it into the rectum and lower part of the colon.

Understanding Colon Polyps and Their Treatment

Polyps are benign growths (noncancerous tumors or neoplasms) involving the lining of the bowel. They can occur in several locations in the gastrointestinal tract but are most common in the colon.

Understanding Esophageal Dilation

Esophageal dilation is a procedure that allows your doctor to dilate, or stretch, a narrowed area of your esophagus [swallowing tube].

Understanding Capsule Endoscopy

Your doctor will give you a pill-sized video camera for you to swallow. This camera has its own light source and takes pictures of your small intestine as it passes through.

Understanding Diverticulosis

Diverticulosis is a condition in which there are small pouches or pockets in the wall or lining of any portion of the digestive tract. These pockets occur when the inner layer of the digestive tract pushes through weak spots in the outer layer.

Understanding Esophageal Testing or Manometry

Abnormalities in the muscle or in the sphincter at the lower end of the esophagus can result in pain, heartburn, and/or difficulty swallowing. Esophageal manometry is used to diagnose the conditions that can cause these symptoms.

Understanding Minor Rectal Bleeding

Minor rectal bleeding refers to the passage of a few drops of bright red (fresh) blood from the rectum, which may appear on the stool, on the toilet paper or in the toilet bowl.

ERCP

Endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography, or ERCP, is a specialized technique used to study the bile ducts, pancreatic duct and gallbladder.

Understanding Bowel Preparation

It is extremely important that your colon be thoroughly cleaned before your colonoscopy. This will let the doctor see any abnormalities, such as colon polyps, during the procedure.

Understanding Barrett’s Esophagus

Barrett’s esophagus is a condition in which the lining of the esophagus changes, becoming more like the lining of the small intestine than the esophagus. This occurs in the area where the esophagus is joined to the stomach.

Understanding Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when contents in the stomach flow back into the esophagus. This happens when the valve between the stomach and the esophagus, known as the lower esophageal sphincter, does not close properly.

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