Endoscopy is a procedure in which a flexible, thin device with a lighted camera system is used to examine patients' esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. With advancements in camera technology, continuously evolving and improving devices now allow doctors to see internal organs in more detail, perform touch-based examinations, and collect biopsy samples.

During this procedure, patients are sedated to ensure both safety and comfort. The performance of an endoscopy is authorized by laws and limited to specialists in gastroenterology, gastrointestinal surgery, pediatric surgery, and pediatric gastroenterology.

Routine diagnostic endoscopy takes approximately 10 minutes and does not require any preparation other than fasting for 6-8 hours. Patients taking blood-thinning medications, which pose a risk of bleeding, may need to discontinue them for the specified duration before the procedure.

In patients at high risk of developing cancer, it is the most reliable early diagnostic method within surveillance protocols. These methods can be used by physicians not only for diagnostic purposes but also as therapeutic interventions.

Who is endoscopy performed on?

For diagnostic purposes:

Unexplained loss of appetite, weight loss, persistent stomach and abdominal pain despite treatment.
Difficulty swallowing, sensation of obstruction in the throat and esophagus, and pain during swallowing.
Reflux that does not improve despite 6 weeks of medication, painful swallowing, or dyspepsia.
Persistent unexplained vomiting.
Unexplained iron deficiency anemia.
Confirmation of lesions shown in radiology and biopsy for histopathological diagnosis.
Determination of the location and cause of bleeding (hematemesis and/or melena).
Acute damage detection resulting from corrosive substance ingestion.
Identification of esophageal and gastric (fundal) varices in patients with cirrhosis for periodic monitoring.
Determination and periodic monitoring of Barrett's metaplasia in the esophagus.
Obtaining biopsies of the small intestine to investigate the cause of malabsorption.
Monitoring of adenomatous gastric polyps.
Cancer research (early detection of cancer development in individuals with alarm symptoms or first-degree relatives with stomach cancer).
Investigation of unknown primary adenocarcinoma or liver metastases.
Biopsy from the duodenum for definitive diagnosis and follow-up in celiac disease/gluten enteropathy in case of treatment unresponsiveness.
Deterioration in dyspeptic symptoms that cannot be explained.
New-onset and persistent dyspepsia in individuals over 45 years of age without other identifiable causes after discontinuing PPI.
Control endoscopy to assess healing in selected esophageal, gastric, and stoma ulcers.
Periodic follow-up in cases of atrophic gastritis, intestinal metaplasia, and dysplasia.

For therapeutic purposes:

Treatment of esophageal varices (band ligation, sclerotherapy, application of tissue adhesive).
Treatment of non-variceal bleeding (bipolar coagulation, heater probe, argon plasma coagulation, adrenaline, sclerosing agent injection therapy, Ankaferd, application of coagulating foam and powder, hemoclip application), coagulation of angiodysplasias.
Balloon or bougie dilation in strictures.
Polyp removal.
Endoscopic mucosal resection (removal of tumorous structures that have not invaded the muscle layer).
Removal of foreign bodies.
Placement of stents in strictures.
Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG tube insertion for feeding).
Endoscopic incision (papillotomy/sphincterotomy) in biliary duct obstruction, crushing (lithotripsy) and removal of bile duct stones, balloon dilation of strictures, and placement of stents for strictures and leaks.