Endoscopy is just one of the many medical procedures available nowadays not only in Singapore but worldwide. Endoscopy has been helpful in a lot of ways in the provision of medical intervention. For endoscopy needs in Singapore, you can visit https://andrea-digestive-clinic.com/endoscopy/ to book a schedule. In addition, here are 5 general things to know about endoscopy in Singapore.
- What exactly is endoscopy and why is it performed?
Endoscopy is a procedure in which a doctor uses specific devices to examine a patient’s digestive tract. This procedure is non-surgical (i.e. does not require cutting of skin) but is considered as minimally invasive as it requires a device to be inserted in the body as part of its procedure.
There are numerous reasons for undergoing an endoscopy. Below are the common symptoms that will prompt for an endoscopy request from a physician:
- persistent or recurring discomfort and pain in the abdomen
- long-lasting bloating, nausea, and vomiting symptoms
- reflux or heartburn that is severe or frequent
- having difficulty in swallowing
- vomit that contains coffee grounds or blood
- passing of “tarry” or black stools and/or stool that contains blood
- having anemia
- unknown reason for appetite loss or weight gain
Aside from looking for causes of symptoms, an endoscopy is also done to detect diseases without any symptoms at all such as colon polyp detection and screening for stomach and colon cancers.
- What are the medical tools used during endoscopy?
The primary tool used in endoscopy is called an endoscope. Endoscopes are mostly tubelike, thin, and flexible with a tiny camera and light on one end and are designed to enable doctors to see and examine the insides of the body, without making incisions (like in surgical procedures). The camera in the endoscope is projected in a monitor which enables the doctors to view the organs examined.
An endoscope often features a channel through which a physician can insert other medical tools such as flexible forceps, biopsy forceps, cytology brushes and suture removal forceps, etc. These tools help the physician perform additional procedures like sample tissue collection (biopsy) and/or treatments during an endoscopy.
- What are the different types of endoscopy?
Endoscopy comes in a variety of types, each of which is called after an organ that it is used to investigate. Correspondingly, the name of the endoscope used is based on the type of endoscopy. The body part where the endoscope is inserted also varies per type. The common types of endoscopy performed in Singapore are as follows:
- Gastroscopy (or Upper endoscopy)-the type of endoscopy used to examine the upper digestive system consisting of the throat, esophagus, and stomach. The endoscope used is named as a gastroscope and is inserted through the patient’s mouth.
- Colonoscopy-the name of endoscopy to check for the colon and large intestine’s entire length. Correspondingly, the tool used is called a colonoscope and is inserted through the anus.
- Enteroscopy-is used for inspecting the small intestine or the small bowel. The endoscope used is called the enteroscope and is also entered via the person’s mouth.
- Sigmoidoscopy-this is used to examine the rectum and sigmoid colon (the lower part of the large intestine. The endoscope used is called the sigmoidoscope and is inserted via the anus
- The Benefits of endoscopy
Here are some common benefits of endoscopy:
- It enables medical professionals to diagnose diseases. It can be used to detect tumors, blockages, inflammation, bleeding, ulcers, etc. and also determine the cause of undiagnosed symptoms like heartburn, abdominal pain, bleeding, nausea, vomiting, etc.
- Treatment in the form of removing a thing that is foreign from the body, expanding a constricted esophagus, or removing polyps can be done during the procedure
- The endoscopic process is relatively risk-free and complications are rare. It is considered as one of the safest medical procedures in practice today.
- The endoscopic operation is quick-takes about 15-30 minutes to complete.
- Typically, an endoscopy is not painful and patients can only expect some minor discomfort during the procedure. A sedative or local anesthesia is used too to make it more comfortable.
- How is it done in Singapore?
Depending on the type of endoscopy performed, some preparations are required prior to the session. Your doctor will conduct a physical examination and review your whole medical history, including any prior operations, ahead of the endoscopy. Disclose any over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements to your doctor. Also tell them about any allergies you may have as well.
In general, endoscopy is performed on an empty stomach, so eating or drinking anything before the procedure is not allowed. For colonoscopy, bowel cleansing using laxatives is performed prior to the procedure to clear out the large intestine. In order to reduce the risk of bleeding during an endoscopy, the doctor may require the patient to cease use of blood-thinning medications.
Before the actual endoscopy, the doctor will use local anesthesia to numb the area being inspected before inserting the tube. To relax your body, a sedative may also be administered. As discussed above, the type of endoscopy will determine where the device will be inserted in the body (e.g. through the mouth or through the anus). You might feel a little discomfort as the endoscope moves through the area being checked throughout the process. The doctor will examine the insides of your body and pull-out the endoscope once satisfied with the session. You will be monitored for a while after the procedure as your sedation wears off. Following an endoscopy, you can have brief sensations like discomfort or cramps, but these usually go away soon. The results will be discussed with you once all ready.
- How much does it cost in Singapore?
The cost of endoscopy can vary depending on your requirements. In Singapore, the cost is generally composed of the facility fee and the doctors fee. The facility fee includes the ward and nursing fees, instrument use fees, pharmaceutical fees, and fees for doing tests like histology, among other things. The doctor’s fee, on the other hand, is the amount a doctor charges for performing the endoscopy. Additional cost be charged if an anesthetist was involved to administer sedation and care for the sedated patient. However, additional cost can be expected if biopsies are performed as additional laboratory exams will require charges.
Medisave and insurance (if your provider allows) can be used to cover some cost for an endoscopy. There is no fixed price for an endoscopy as it will depend on your specific requirements. It is advised to always have a discussion regarding the cost of the procedure with the clinic or doctor before proceeding to get an estimated figure. An endoscopy can cost from around $500 to $11,000 in Singapore.
Andrea Digestive Clinic
#21-11/12 Royal Square at Novena 101
Irrawaddy Road Singapore 329565
+65 6264 2836