What is endoscopy?

Endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure that allows your Gastroenterologist or General Surgeon to use an endoscope, or scope for short, to look inside your body. The endoscope is a long, flexible tube with a camera at the end, which can help identify a variety of conditions and diseases in the upper and lower digestive tract. If your doctor finds an area of concern during the procedure, tissue samples can be retrieved for testing and/or items can be passed through the endoscope for immediate treatment of a digestive tract problem. The most well-known types of endoscopic procedures are colonoscopy and upper endoscopy.

Schedule a procedure with Guthrie Endoscopy by calling:

Colon Cancer Screening

There are various options to choose from when screening for colon cancer, but a commonly known endoscopic procedure, a colonoscopy, is the gold standard and most accurate method available. Pre-cancerous growths, called polyps, can be removed during a colonoscopy, preventing them from becoming cancer.

The procedure itself usually takes 15-30 minutes, although you should plan on two to three hours for waiting, preparation and recovery.

Who should get a colonoscopy and when?

When you follow screening recommendations, your doctor can find cancer early, when it’s most treatable, before you have symptoms. Current screening recommendations are:

  • Average Risk: When you are 45 and older, it’s time for your first colonoscopy if you have no specific risk factors.
  • Higher Risk: If you have a family history of colon cancer or polyps, get screened at age 40 or 10 years before the age of the youngest case in your immediate family.

Colon cancer screening is vital to preventing cancer from growing and spreading within your digestive tract and to other parts of your body. Warning signs of colon cancer might include:

  • Abdominal/stomach pain
  • Passing bloody stool
  • A change in your usual bowel habits

Talk to your primary doctor if you have concerns or any a personal medical history that might indicate that getting a screening before age 45 is important for you.

Why might someone need a colonoscopy or other endoscopic procedure?

You may be scheduled for an endoscopic procedure to look for:

  • Diverticulosis (pockets in your intestines)
  • Diverticulitis (inflamed or infected pockets in your intestines)
  • Gallstones that have passed into the bile ducts
  • Growths in the esophagus, stomach or upper small intestine
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic tumors
  • Polyps or growths in the colon
  • Ulcers
  • Signs or symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Anemia

Endoscopy is required before certain surgeries, such as bariatric procedures for weight loss. It’s also more accurate than X-ray for detecting inflammation, ulcers and tumors.

How do patients prepare in advance of an endoscopic procedure?

Instructions will be provided to you when you schedule your procedure. Your preparation instructions can vary beforehand depending on whether you’re having an upper or lower endoscopy, the time of day your procedure is scheduled, certain medications you might be taking and more. We encourage you to have a discussion with your referring provider in advance of the procedure to review the instructions and ask questions. Certain prep instructions are available on the right side of this page, if needed. Please be sure it matches the prep instructions provided to you by your provider.  

Are patients awake during endoscopy?

Most endoscopies are performed with patients under light sedation, which is intended to relax you. Some patients sleep through the procedure. You should remain comfortable with the small possibility of some minor discomfort. We encourage you to discuss with your referring provider what can be expected in advance of the procedure.

What does recovery look like after the procedure?

After the endoscopy is completed, you’ll be monitored until most of the effects of the medication have worn off. You may feel some slight discomfort from the scope, and you might feel bloated because of the air introduced into your digestive tract during the procedure. You’ll also most likely be able to eat right after unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

You will receive an explanation of the findings during the procedure after you have recovered, although you’ll probably have to wait for the results of any biopsies.

Someone must drive you home and stay with you after. Even if you feel alert after the procedure, your judgment and reflexes could be impaired for the rest of the day. You may not drive or return to work and you should not make important decisions that day.  

Endoscopy at Guthrie

State-of-the-art technology is available to our specialists, helping to improve the quality of care provided to you and your loved ones. Guthrie continues to invest in endoscopy services, most recently through the addition of new endoscopy suites in both Sayre and Ithaca. Specialized endoscopy services are also offered at Guthrie, such as:

  • Treatment for Barrett's Esophagus
  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)
  • Surgical Endoscopy
  • Therapeutic Endoscopy

Guthrie is proud to offer Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS), which combines endoscopy and ultrasound to create images of the digestive tract and its surrounding organs and tissues. By using sound waves to create more detailed images of your digestive tract, including your esophagus, stomach, bile ducts, lymph nodes and organs near the digestive tract (pancreas, liver and gallbladder), your doctor can look for causes of abdominal pain, abnormal labs or x-rays, or unusual weight loss, with the goal of leading to a clearer diagnosis. EUS also may help characterize lesions or bumps on the walls of the stomach and intestines.  

You also have options when issues arise in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and pancreas, including Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). By using ERCP, your provider can identify and treat the cause of unexplained yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice). ERCP can help locate and diagnose certain conditions, including:

  • Bile duct stones
  • Damage from pancreatitis
  • Various types of cancer

Endoscopy services are available throughout Guthrie’s service area within Pennsylvania and New York:

  • Big Flats, N.Y.
  • Cortland, N.Y.
  • Corning, N.Y.
  • Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Sayre, Pa.
  • Troy, Pa.

Schedule a procedure with Guthrie Endoscopy by calling: