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What is the Difference between Endoscopy & Gastroscopy?

endoscopy vs gastroscopy

Endoscopy and gastroscopy are both medical procedures that involve visualisation of the inside of the body through a thin, flexible tube with a camera and light source attached.

These procedures are commonly used for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes, but they differ in terms of their specific application and target area.


What is Endoscopy?

Endoscopy is a medical procedure that allows doctors to examine internal organs and tissue without a large incision.

During this procedure, a thin, flexible tube (endoscope) is inserted through a natural body opening, like the mouth or anus. It has a light source and camera on its tip, so the doctor can view real-time body images on a monitor.

Apart from examining the inner workings of your body, an endoscopy can also extract a tiny tissue sample for additional testing, known as an endoscopic biopsy.


Reasons for Endoscopy

Endoscopy can be used to diagnose various medical conditions, such as digestive issues, ulcers, and even cancer. It allows the doctor to see internal organs and tissues up close, which helps identify any abnormalities or damage.

Besides diagnosis, endoscopy is also used for therapeutic purposes. For example, doctors can use it to remove polyps from the colon, widen narrowed areas in the digestive tract, or stop bleeding in certain cases.


Types of Endoscopy

There are various types of endoscopy, including:

  • Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy – also known as esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), this procedure involves visualisation of the upper GI tract, including the oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum.
  • Colonoscopy – this procedure involves the visualisation of the large intestine (colon) for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.
  • Bronchoscopy – used to visualise the airways and lungs. This procedure can help diagnose respiratory conditions, such as asthma or lung cancer.
  • Cystoscopy – involves the visualisation of the urinary tract, including the bladder and urethra, for diagnostic or treatment purposes.
  • Hysteroscopy – this procedure involves the visualisation of the uterus and cervix for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.
  • Capsule Endoscopy – a newer technique that uses a pill-sized camera to capture images of the digestive tract, which are then transmitted to a recorder worn by the patient.


What Disease Endoscopy Can Diagnose?

Endoscopy can be used to diagnose various diseases and conditions, including:

  • Gastrointestinal disorders – such as ulcers, gastritis, or Crohn’s disease.
  • Cancers – endoscopy can help detect and biopsy suspicious areas for further investigation.
  • Respiratory conditions – such as chronic bronchitis or lung cancer.
  • Urinary tract disorders – including bladder cancer or urinary tract infections.
  • Uterine conditions – such as fibroids or abnormal bleeding.


What is Gastroscopy?

Gastroscopy is a medical procedure that involves using an endoscope to examine the upper gastrointestinal tract, specifically the oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum.

The endoscope is inserted through the patient’s mouth into the oesophagus, then into the stomach and duodenum. Your doctor will then view images of these areas on a monitor through the endoscope’s camera and light.

A gastroscopy may also be known as an EGD or upper GI endoscopy, but they all refer to the same procedure.


Uses of Gastroscopy

Gastroscopy is primarily used for diagnostic purposes, such as:

  • Gastric ulcers – to determine the cause and severity of gastric ulcers.
  • Stomach cancer – endoscopy can help detect early signs of stomach cancer.
  • Difficulty swallowing or persistent heartburn – gastroscopy can reveal any abnormalities that may be causing these symptoms.

Additionally, during a gastroscopy, your doctor may also perform therapeutic procedures, such as:

  • Removal of polyps – small growths that can develop in the stomach lining and potentially turn cancerous.
  • Dilation of strictures – narrow areas in the oesophagus or stomach that can cause difficulty swallowing.


What Disease Gastroscopy Can Diagnose?

Gastroscopy can help diagnose various diseases and conditions, including:

  • Gastritis – inflammation of the stomach lining.
  • Gastric ulcers – open sores in the lining of the stomach.
  • Hiatal hernia – when part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm into the chest.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – a condition where stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms.
  • Cancer – gastroscopy can detect early signs of cancer in the upper GI tract for further investigation and treatment.


Similarities between Endoscopy and Gastroscopy

Both endoscopy and gastroscopy use a thin, flexible tube with a camera and light source attached for visualisation of the inside of the body.

They are both used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, and can help detect various diseases or conditions in different parts of the body.


Difference between Endoscopy and Gastroscopy

While both endoscopy and gastroscopy involve the use of a thin, flexible tube with a camera and light source attached, they differ in terms of their specific application and target area.

Endoscopy is a broad term that encompasses various procedures for visualising different parts of the body, while gastroscopy specifically focuses on the upper GI tract.



Endoscopy and gastroscopy screening are both valuable medical procedures that allow direct visualisation of internal organs and tissues. While they serve different purposes, they both play an important role in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of various medical conditions.

It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a gastro specialist to determine which procedure is best for your individual needs.


Disclaimer Notice

The content on this website, including text, graphics, images, and information, is meant for general informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. RICHMOND ENDOSCOPY AND GASTROINTESTINAL SPECIALISTS PTE. LTD takes no responsibility if the information on this website is used without consulting one of its specialists.