What is an endoscopy? | The Sun

AN ENDOSCOPY is a very common procedure used by medical professionals to take a closer look at a patient's internals.

Blink-182's Travis Barker ended up in the hospital on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, after a reported colonoscopy.

What is an endoscopy?

An endoscopy is a procedure in which the gastrointestinal tract is viewed by doctors through a fiber-optic camera known as an endoscope.

A small tube is inserted – either through natural bodily openings, or strategically planned, small incisions.

Its length and flexibility often depend on which part of the body the doctor intends to view.

The endoscope helps medical professionals examine areas that cannot be easily seen outside the body: the esophagus, the stomach, the colon, or the small intestines, for example.

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Endoscopies are usually performed under sedation to ensure a patient's comfort during the procedure.

What types of endoscopies are there?

Although there are many types of endoscopies, doctors usually separate the procedures based on their location – such as upper or lower body.

Upper body endoscopies usually take place through the mouth, while lower body procedures take place through the anus.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Where safe and appropriate, it has been shown that same-day scheduling of elective upper and lower endoscopic procedures can help reduce health care costs and avoid potential harm from repeated sedation and blood-drawing."

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Types of endoscopies include:

  • Colonoscopy: Where a colonoscope is inserted through the anus to view the length of the colon and large intestine
  • Gastroscopy: Where a gastroscope is inserted through the mouth to view the stomach and duodenum (the beginning of the small intestine)
  • Arthroscopy: Where an arthroscope is inserted through a small incision over a joint to view certain joints

What type of endoscopy did Travis Barker have?

Blink-182's drummer, Travis Barker, was hospitalized on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, after reportedly having a colonoscopy.

"I went in for an endoscopy Monday feeling great," he wrote via Instagram Stories on Saturday, July 2.

"During the endoscopy, I had a very small polyp removed right in a very sensitive area, usually handled by specialists, which unfortunately damaged a critical pancreatic drainage tube."

He continued: "This resulted in severe life-threatening pancreatitis."

A colonoscopy is a procedure first introduced in 1969, often used to screen for colon cancer.

According to The New York Times, however: "In a recent study that analyzed the experiences of nearly 80,000 patients who had the procedure, pancreatitis was not even described as a risk of colonoscopy."

The outlet spoke to Dr. Avinash Ketwaroo, a gastroenterologist who specializes in endoscopic procedures at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, who told them:

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“It would be an extremely rare complication."

He added: "So rare that it's at the level of what we call case reports, which means it occurs perhaps one in every million colonoscopies."

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