Endoscopy is a procedure that uses a tiny video camera at the end of a very narrow scope in order to see inside of the body. Sometimes, we use endoscopy for surgical procedures, but most often we use it for diagnostic purposes. The procedure is minimally invasive and requires relatively little recovery.
Before the endoscopy, we first perform a full physical exam. Because of the use of anesthesia, your pet may require blood tests to ensure his or her ability to properly metabolize the medications. We then administer the anesthesia and carefully monitor your pet during the entire procedure. After the endoscopy, we gently awaken your pet from the anesthesia, and in most cases, you can take your pet home the same day.
Sometimes, we use endoscopy to perform biopsies, take cultures, or remove tumors, masses, or foreign bodies. After the procedure, we evaluate the information gathered or possibly run lab tests on the tissues retrieved.
Endoscopy allows us to view many different parts of the body. For example, if you notice your pet experiencing respiratory issues, we may use endoscopy to look inside of his or her nose and sinuses to determine if an infection is present, the possibility of a tumor, or if her or she has inhaled a foreign body.
Some common areas of endoscopy include:
- Gastrointestinal endoscopy - We use a very long and flexible scope. We direct the scope to travel down the intestines, which enables the biopsy, the removal of foreign bodies, and makes it possible to diagnose GI issues, such as polyps or colitis.
- Bronchoscopy - This allows us to view the throat and lungs and identify issues such as polyps, foreign bodies, or lung cancer.
- Rhinoscopy - We use a flexible scope to view the sinuses, remove foreign bodies, and identify inflammation or fungal infections. Anterior rhinoscopy advances a flexible scope through the nose while posterior rhinoscopy advances the scope through the mouth to examine the back of the nasal cavity.
- Cystoscopy - Using this procedure we can view the urinary tract, including the urethra and bladder. This makes it possible to identify and sometimes remove kidney and bladder stones.