If you are about to have a medical procedure to examine the condition of the upper and lower part of the digestive tract, you must understand the difference between upper endoscopy and colonoscopy.
Typically, when individuals use the term “upper endoscopy,” they refer to the procedure which is performed through the mouth to assess the upper part of the digestive tract. On the other hand, the term “colonoscopy” refers to the procedure that is performed through the anus for the examination of the lower part of the digestive system.
Although both, the colonoscopy procedure and upper endoscopy procedure, are used to view the insides of the digestive tract, they have different purposes.
Let’s look at the ways in which these two medical procedures are different from each other.
Colonoscopy VS Upper Endoscopy: Exploring the Differences
One of the main differences between colonoscopy and upper endoscopy is the entry point for the thin, flexible tube. The tool used in colonoscopy, which is known as a colonoscope, is inserted from the mouth. Whereas, the tool used in upper endoscopy, which is called an endoscope, is put inside the anus.
Furthermore, another difference is what areas are assessed. An upper endoscopy is performed to examine the esophagus, duodenum, or stomach. On the other hand, a colonoscopy focuses on the colon, lower bowel, or rectum.
Preparing for a Colonoscopy VS Upper Endoscopy
One thing that is common between a colonoscopy and an upper endoscopy is that both of the procedures will leave you drowsy. Hence, you must make arrangements for a ride home prior to the procedure.
As for the preparation of an upper endoscopy is concerned, you will be required to have no drink or food for several hours before the procedure. This way, your stomach would have the time to empty itself before the procedure. Consequently, the doctor will be able to have a good clear view of the upper part of the digestive tract.
On the contrary, for upper endoscopy preparation, you can consume only clear liquids for 24 hours before the procedure. In addition to that, you will also be required to have a special bowel prep drink that will help flush stool out of the system. This way, the doctor can have a good look at your rectum and colon.
Moreover, in some cases, patients are also required to get a blood test done before a colonoscopy or an upper endoscopy procedure.
What Both of the Procedures Diagnose
An upper endoscopy is used to assess ulcers, abnormal growths, Hiatal hernias, signs of cancer, and inflammation in the esophagus, duodenum, and stomach. The doctor may prescribe the procedure if you are experiencing unexplained abdominal pain along with nausea, unexpected weight loss, gastrointestinal bleeding, or trouble swallowing.
As for colonoscopy, its primary use is for screening colon cancer. The doctor may also prescribe you a colonoscopy if you have blood in your stool, frequent abdominal pain, fatigue, or unexplained weight loss with trouble breathing. Moreover, you should also get the screening done if your family has a history of colon cancer.