Endoscopy Procedures

Endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows physicians to better examine passageways and the inside of the organs, including the esophagus, stomach and colon. Our physicians use a device called an endoscope that allows them to look directly at a specific area to better evaluate and detect problems. They also use this device for taking biopsies and removing foreign objects from the body.

Endoscopy procedures can offer patients faster recovery, and many can be performed on an outpatient basis. Experienced gastroenterologists, surgeons, nurses and staff hold advanced certifications in endoscopic surgical and diagnostic procedures.

Endoscopy Procedures

Endoscopy procedures offered throughout our health system, include:


A colonoscopy is an internal examination of the colon in which an instrument called a colonoscope is inserted through the rectum. The colonoscope has a small camera at the tip, which allows physicians to view the colon as the colonoscope travels through it.

A colonoscopy may be used to:

Diagnose internal problems such as ulcers, colon polyps, tumors, bleeding and areas of inflammation.

Preparing for a colonoscopy:

You will be asked to stop eating solid foods and colored liquids a day or two before the scheduled procedure. You will be prescribed a bowel-clearing substance that triggers diarrheas in order to completely empty the colon. On the day of the procedure, you may also be required to use an enema to clear out any remains in the colon.

Endoscopic Ultrasound

An Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) is a procedure in which an endoscopic procedure is combined with an ultrasound in order to obtain images of internal organs. EUS is offered at Mercy Philadelphia.

An Endoscopic Ultrasound may be used to:

Obtain images of the internal organs in the chest or abdomen.

Preparing for an Endoscopic Ultrasound

You may be asked to refrain from eating and drinking anything after midnight on the night before your scheduled procedure. You may be asked to consume laxatives or to use an enema prior to the procedure.

Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

An Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a technique that combines an endoscopy and fluoroscopy to obtain real-time moving images of internal structures.

ERCP may be used to:

Diagnose diseases of the gallbladder, biliary system, pancreas and liver.

Preparing for an ERCP

You may be asked to refrain from eating and drinking anything after midnight on the night before your scheduled procedure.

Upper Endoscopy

An Upper Endoscopy is a procedure in which a small flexible endoscope is introduced through the mouth and advanced through the pharynx, esophagus, stomach, and duodenum.

An Upper Endoscopy may be used to:
  • Identify and diagnose inflammation, ulcers, bleeding and tumors.
  • It can also remove polyps and treat inflamed areas or bleeding.
Preparing for an Upper Endoscopy

You will be asked to refrain from eating solid foods for at least 8 hours prior to your schedule procedure.

Wireless Capsule Endoscopy

Wireless Capsule Endoscopy is a modern procedure in which a camera encased within a capsule and coated with stomach acid-resistant biocompatible material is swallowed, allowing for pictures to be taken and transmitted to a recording device worn by the patient.

The patient resumes normal activity during the next 8 hours, as images are continuously taken and recorded. The patient then returns to the doctor’s office, where the recording device is removed, allowing the recorded images to be transferred to a computer and transformed into a digital movie that will be examined by the doctor. The capsule itself will be expelled normally with the next bowel movement.

A Wireless Capsule Endoscopy may be used to:

Diagnose problems in the small intestine such as bleeding, inflammation or causes of abdominal pain.

Preparing for a Wireless Capsule Endoscopy

You may be instructed to restrict your diet, only allowing for clear liquids for 24 hours before the procedure.