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What Is an Endoscopy?

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Updated April 15, 2009

In a colonoscopy an endoscope is used to visualize the intestines. Photo © A.D.A.M.
Definition: Endoscopy is a procedure in which a long tube with a small light and camera on the end (an endoscope) is inserted into a natural orifice so that the interior of an organ or part of the body can be viewed. This is performed to diagnose certain medical conditions and is usually done under sedative medication to make the procedure more comfortable for the patient.

During an endoscopy, biopsies and retrieval of foreign objects can also be done.

Examples:
Common endoscopic procedures are colonoscopy (used to see the inside of the bowels) and bronchoscopy (used to visualize parts of the lungs).
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