An endoscope is usually utilized in gastrointestinal medicine to visualize part of the GI tract, often to aid in diagnosis. However, the endoscope is a useful tool that can be used in therapeutic ways too. A therapeutic endoscopy allows treatment to be administered using the endoscope itself. We will discuss a few of the different forms of therapeutic endoscopy treatments, so you can understand the different ways the process could benefit you.
Endoscopic Haemostasis: Using an endoscope to inject bleeding ulcers with adrenaline is one common way endoscopic haemostasis is used. This can quickly stop a peptic ulcer from causing pain and bleeding.
Injection Sclerotherapy: In the case of esophageal varices, injection sclerotherapy is often utilized. Ethanolamine or absolute alcohol or another sclerosing agent is injected into the varix. This causes constriction and ideally obliterates the varix altogether.
Argon Plasma Coagulation: A more modern method of utilizing the scope is to inject argon plasma for coagulation in an ulcer. This will minimize the chance that the ulcer will begin to bleed again in the future.
Stenting: A stent is often used to open up a passageway, such as in patients with inoperable esophageal cancer. The endoscope is an excellent way to deploy the stent into the thinnest passageways in the GI tract, allowing access to areas that may otherwise be impassable.
As you can see, a therapeutic endoscopy can be a very useful tool for your GI or bariatric doctor to use in treating all forms of illness or pain in the GI system. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Dr. Dirk’s office. With treatments like therapeutic endoscopy, there is no reason to live with untreated GI pain.