Gastroenterology Treatments


An endoscopy allows your consultant to look inside your body using a long, thin, flexible tube with a telescopic camera and light source, called an endoscope.

Endoscopes can be inserted into your body through natural openings, including the mouth and down the throat or through the anus. It’s normally performed on a day case basis under local anaesthetic.

Commonly used endoscopy procedures include: colonoscopy, gastroscopy, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and flexible sigmoidoscopy.


A colonoscopy is a diagnostic test that looks at problems in your large intestine called the colon. Your gastroenterologist may recommend a colonoscopy if you’ve symptoms including: persistent diarrhoea, bowel movements changes, bleeding or mucus from your back passage or pains in your lower abdomen.

During a colonoscopy a long, thin, flexible tube with a camera and light source, called a colonoscope, will be used to see inside your large bowel. It’s performed as in an outpatient or day case procedure, taking approximately half an hour.

A colonoscopy will find out more about your symptoms, check for cancer or be part of bowel cancer screening. It may confirm conditions such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, polyps of the colon and cancerous growths.


A gastroscopy is a type of endoscopy that allows your consultant to see inside your oesophagus (the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach), your stomach and the first part of your small intestine (duodenum). It’s sometimes called an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and is often used to investigate indigestion symptoms.

It’s a day case procedure performed under local anaesthetic that involves passing a thin, flexible tube with a telescopic camera through your mouth. Your specialist will be looking to see if there are any abnormalities in your oesophagus, stomach and duodenum such as stomach ulcers or damage to the lining of your oesophagus.

Lactose intolerance quick test

Here at Berkshire Independent Hospital, during your gastroscopy examination we can also perform a lactose intolerance quick test to detect lactase deficiency. This test, called a Biohit lactose intolerance test, is fast and simple. It’s based on the activity of the lactase enzyme in a biopsy specimen. Results are available in just 20 minutes and are a more accurate predictor of clinical response to a lactose-free diet than the traditional lactose breath test.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy

Flexible sigmoidoscopy is used to investigate the inside of your rectum and lower part of your bowel. It’s a quick procedure performed on an outpatient basis. A thin, flexible telescope, called a sigmoidoscope, is inserted into your back passage to find out the cause of symptoms such as bowel movement changes or rectal pain, or to check for inflammation and early signs of polyps and cancer.

During a flexible sigmoidoscopy, biopsies can be taken if required, polyps can be removed and haemorrhoids can be treated.

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