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Digestive system imaging

An endoscopy is a procedure that allows your digestive system to be examined. This is done with the use of an instrument called an endoscope (or a scope), a tiny camera attached to a long, thin tube.

Endoscopic procedures are minimally invasive and provide the perspective needed to help diagnose and treat you. Endoscopy may also be used to perform cancer screenings, remove a tissue sample for biopsy, or provide image assistance during surgery.

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Conditions commonly diagnosed using endoscopy include:

  • Hernias
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Tumors
  • Polyps
  • Unusual bleeding

Before the endoscopy: what you should know

Most endoscopic procedures require you to stop eating for up to 12 hours before the exam. Drinking may also be prohibited, though this depends on the procedure.

Medications may interfere with the endoscopic procedure, so be sure to notify your doctor of any current medication you may be taking. Even over-the-counter medications and vitamins can affect the exam, so mention these as well. If your procedure requires you to be sedated with anesthesia, as many do, you will need to have someone with you who can drive you home from the hospital. Most endoscopic procedures are outpatient exams, meaning you can return home the same day of the procedure.

Referral required for this service. If you need one, talk to your primary care provider.

To establish care with a St. Luke’s primary care provider, call 218.249.4000 or find a clinic near you.

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