What Is the Difference Between Diagnostic Endoscopy and Interventional Endoscopy?
In a gastrointestinal diagnostic endoscopy procedure, physicians use sophisticated endoscopes--thin, flexible tubes equipped with a tiny camera and light--to visualize the inside of the gastrointestinal tract. The endoscope is inserted through the mouth or rectum. These procedures are done to detect and evaluate abnormal areas. In some cases, physicians will insert a small device to collect a tissue sample for testing or remove colon polyps (pre-cancerous growths in the colon).
During an endoscopy procedure, it's also possible to treat a wide variety of disorders--from bleeding to cancer. Specialized endoscopes and miniaturized instruments allow the physician to diagnose and treat cancers, stop life-threatening bleeding, and perform other procedures. These types of specialized treatments are considered advanced gastrointestinal interventional endoscopic procedures.
What Is Special About Interventional Endoscopy?
Today, interventional endoscopy provides a safe, effective alternative to more invasive diagnostic techniques and/or surgery for several types of gastrointestinal conditions. Recovery is quicker, complications are few, and patients often go home the same day of the procedure.
Not all hospitals provide a full spectrum of interventional endoscopic services. This is a highly specialized field, requiring focused expertise and advanced equipment. The University of Chicago Medicine offers endoscopists who are leaders in the field, often among the first in the nation to use new techniques and equipment to care for patients with both routine and complex gastrointestinal disorders. Our physicians perform a variety of endoscopic procedures, and have many years of experience.