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5 Different Types of Endoscopy

5 Different Types of Endoscopy

Endoscopy uses a long, slender instrument with a tiny camera at the tip to give doctors a better look at your internal organs, vessels, and tissues. It only takes a tiny incision, so recovery time and wound care are simple and easy.

At Northside Gastroenterology in Cypress and Katy, Texas, Dr. Ayub Hussain and our team use endoscopy to help us diagnose a wide range of conditions. If you’re experiencing acid reflux, heartburn, gasteroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD), abdominal pain, or other gastrointestinal issues, endoscopy enables us to view your digestive tract and make an accurate diagnosis. Here’s what you need to know about this versatile technology.

Endoscopy: A multitasking tool

Because the endoscope instrument is extremely narrow, Dr. Hussain can slip it through a very small incision. Its length and flexibility allow him to maneuver through your body, and the camera at the end helps him navigate. This minimizes tissue damage and post-procedural pain. 

The tip of the endoscope can also be outfitted with forceps that let Dr. Hussain move organs and tissues out of the way so the camera can get a better image.

If necessary, Dr. Hussain can also attach scissors on the endoscope so he can gather a sample of tissue for testing called a biopsy specimen. 

Conditions endoscopy can detect

Several gastrointestinal conditions can exhibit similar symptoms, such as diarrhea, constipation, pain, and bleeding, so we need more information to make the right diagnosis. Here are some of the many conditions an endoscopy helps us confirm:

With visual data from the endoscopy added to your medical history and list of symptoms, Dr. Hussain can rule out certain problems and arrive at a diagnosis so we can begin treatment.

Types of endoscopy

There are many types of endoscopy used in various medical specialty fields. For example, arthroscopy allows orthopedic surgeons to examine and treat your joints. Bronchoscopy allows pulmonologists and thoracic surgeons to view and treat your lungs. 

As a gastroenterologist, Dr. Hussain uses five specific types of endoscopy.

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)

If you’re experiencing frequent heartburn, acid reflux, or abdominal pain, you may need an EGD. This type is sometimes called an upper endoscopy because it focuses on the upper portion of your GI tract, namely your esophagus, stomach, and the top part of your small intestine. 

Dr. Hussain performs the EGD by guiding the endoscope through your mouth and downward into your gastrointestinal tract.


If you’re experiencing bloody stools or abdominal pain, you may need a colonoscopy. In this case, the scope enters your body at your anus and travels upward into your colon. 

This is also the test we use for regular colon cancer screenings, which you should begin scheduling when you reach age 50 (earlier if you have any of the risk factors). We typically sedate you before your colonoscopy to keep you comfortable.


A sigmoidoscopy is similar to a colonoscopy in that it gives us a view of your rectum and colon, but this procedure is less invasive. A colonoscopy uses a longer tube and can view your entire colon, while a sigmoidoscopy only reaches the lower colon. No sedation is necessary with a sigmoidoscopy.

Capsule endoscopy

Technological advances have made it possible for us to view the entire route of your gastrointestinal tract — even in the places where no tubular endoscope can go. 

With a capsule endoscopy, you simply swallow a pill that contains a micro camera. As it travels through your body, it takes thousands of images of your digestive tract and records them so we can get the whole picture.

Endoscopic retrograde cholangio pancreatography (ERCP)

Specifically for issues related to your pancreatic ducts and bile, an ERCP combines two technologies: endoscopy and X-ray. We insert the scope through your mouth and direct it to your small intestine where it captures X-ray images of your pancreas. 

ERCP is a highly specialized technique that requires special training, and Dr. Hussain is one of the few in the Houston area qualified to perform it. 

Do you need an endoscopy?

Endoscopy is a valuable instrument in the gastroenterological toolbox. If you have symptoms of GI issues, you may be a great candidate for an endoscopy. Certainly if you're 50 or older, you can benefit from a colonoscopy to check for early signs of colorectal cancer. 

To find out if you need this revealing test, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hussain by calling either of our Houston-area locations or booking online today.

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