Gastroscopy and colonoscopy are procedures where an endoscope (thin, flexible tube with a camera) are used to examine the inner lining of the gastrointestinal tract. They are useful procedures for both the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. Both procedures are performed under sedation administered by an anaesthetist. As well as allowing for visual inspection of the lining tissue of the gut, biopsies can be taken for microscopic examination. Sometimes, therapeutic procedures (see below) are also performed.
Gastroscopy (often referred to as "endoscopy") involves examination of the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract with an endoscope. The oesophagus (food pipe or gullet), stomach and duodenum (first part of small intestine) are examined during gastroscopy.
Colonoscopy involves examination of the colon (large bowel or large intestine) and the terminal ileum (last part of small intestine) with the endoscope. Colonoscopy requires a "bowel preparation" beforehand to clean out the bowels and allow your specialist to obtain an adequate view.