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Surgical Endoscopy, Gynecology, Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, Functional Endoscopic Sinus SurgeryEndoscopy is a procedure that lets your doctor look inside your body. It uses an instrument called an endoscope, or scope for short. Scopes have a tiny camera attached to a long, thin tube. The doctor moves it through a body passageway or opening to see inside an organ. Sometimes scopes are used for surgery, such as for removing polyps from the colon.

Why Is Endoscopy Performed ?

Endoscopy can be used to diagnose various conditions by close examination of internal organ and body structures. Endoscopy can also guide therapy and repair, such as the removal of torn cartilage from the bearing surfaces of a joint. Biopsy (tissue sampling for pathologic testing) may also be performed under endoscopic guidance. Local or general anesthetic may be used during endoscopy, depending upon the type of procedure being performed.

Internal abnormalities revealed through endoscopy include: abscesses, biliary (liver) cirrhosis, bleeding, bronchitis, cancer, cysts, degenerative disease, gallbladder stones, hernia, inflammation, metastatic cancer, polyps, tumors, ulcers, and other diseases and conditions.

Endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure and carries with it certain minor risks depending upon the type of procedure being performed. However, these risks are typically far outweighed by the diagnostic and therapeutic potential of the procedure.

Prior to the widespread use of endoscopy and diagnostic imaging, most internal conditions could only be diagnosed or treated with open surgery. Until the last several decades, exploratory surgery was routinely performed only when a patient was critically ill and the source of illness was not known. For example, in certain dire cases, the patient's thorax or abdomen were surgically opened and examined to try to determine the source of illness.

When Is An Endoscopy Used ?

To confirm a Diagnosis :

An endoscopy is often used to confirm a diagnosis when other devices, such as an MRI, X-ray, or CT scan are considered inappropriate.

An endoscopy is often carried out to find out the degree of problems a known condition may have caused. The endoscopy, in these cases, may significantly contribute towards the doctor's decision on the best treatment for the patient.

The following conditions and illnesses are most commonly investigated or diagnosed with an endoscopy:

  • Breathing disorders
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Incontinence
  • Internal bleeding
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Urinary tract infections

Types of Endoscopy

Fiber optic endoscopes now have widespread use in medicine and guide a myriad of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures including:

  • Arthroscopy: examination of joints for diagnosis and treatment (arthroscopic surgery)
  • Bronchoscopy:examination of the trachea and lung's bronchial trees to reveal abscesses, bronchitis, carcinoma, tumors, tuberculosis, alveolitis, infection, inflammation
  • Colonoscopy: examination of the inside of the colon and large intestine to detect polyps, tumors, ulceration, inflammation, colitis diverticula, Chrohn's disease, and discovery and removal of foreign bodies.
  • Colposcopy: direct visualization of the vagina and cervix to detect cancer, inflammation, and other conditions.
  • Cystoscopy: examination of the bladder, urethra, urinary tract, uteral orifices, and prostate (men) with insertion of the endoscope through the urethra.
  • ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography) uses endoscopic guidance to place a catheter for x-ray fluorosocopy with contrast enhancement. This technique is used to examine the liver's biliary tree, the gallbladder, the pancreatic duct and other anatomy to check for stones, other obstructions and disease. X-ray contrast is introduced into these ducts via catheter and fluoroscopic x-ray images are taken to show any abnormality or blockage. If disease is detected, it can sometimes be treated at the same time or biopsy can be performed to test for cancer or other pathology. ERCP can detect biliary cirrhosis, cancer of the bile ducts, pancreatic cysts, pseudocysts, pancreatic tumors, chronic pancreatitis and other conditions such as gallbladder stones.
  • EGD (Esophogealgastroduodensoscopy): visual examination of the upper gastro-intestinal (GI) tract. (also referred to as gastroscopy) to reveal hemorrhage, hiatal hernia, inflammation of the esophagus, gastric ulcers.
  • Endoscopic Biopsy is the removal of tissue specimens for pathologic examination and analysis.
  • Gastroscopy: examination of the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. Gastroscopy is often used to diagnose ulcers and other sources of bleeding and to guide biopsy of suspect GI cancers.
  • Laparoscopy: visualization of the stomach, liver and other abdominal organs including the female reproductive organs, for example, the fallopian tubes.
  • Laryngoscopy: examination of the larynx (voice box).
  • Proctoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, proctosigmoidoscopy: examination of the rectum and sigmoid colon.
  • Thoracoscopy:examination of the pleura (sac that covers the lungs), pleural spaces, mediastinum, and pericardium.

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