Endoscopy is the process of looking inside body cavities, using a very tiny camera attached to the end of a long, flexible tube (endoscope). Images from the camera are sent to a television monitor so that the doctor can direct the movement of the endoscope. It is also possible to pass different instruments through the endoscope to allow small samples or growths to be removed.
Endoscopy allows a doctor to make a diagnosis either by seeing directly what is causing the problem or by taking a small tissue sample for examination under a microscope (biopsy).
Endoscopy can also be used as a treatment e.g. for removal of swallowed objects in the oesophagus (food pipe), removal of polyps or lesions, rechecking healing of lesions etc.