What is an endoscopy?

An endoscopy can be used to help treat a digestive tract problem or diagnose polyps, which can be removed to prevent the development of colon cancer.

Why might I need an endoscopy?

  • If you’re having difficulty swallowing (also known as dysphagia)
  • Tummy pain that does not go away or keeps coming back
  • Diarrhoea and feeling - or being – sick regularly
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Regularly experiencing heartburn or indigestion
  • Blood in your stool
Dr Laurence Maiden

Watch our endoscopy webinar

Anyone needing to undergo an internal clinical investigation to diagnose symptoms related to a health concern, will have heard of an endoscopy. But what does it mean? Join Dr Laurence Maiden to find out more.

Other private endoscopy procedures we offer

Our Ambulatory Care Unit has the latest endoscope camera equipment and is run by a team of expert Consultants, supported by a Dietician, Nutritionist and Psychologist. We offer the following private endoscopy procedures to treat a range of conditions:

  • Hysteroscopy: is used to look inside the womb (uterus) if you’re experiencing problems such as irregular periods, or if you have more than one miscarriage
  • Cystoscopy: used to diagnose problems such as urinary incontinence and if you have blood in your urine. These can be investigated through cystoscopy which looks at the inside of your bladder
  • Wireless Capsule Endoscopy: involves swallowing a small capsule that has a camera and light in it, which sends pictures to a computer

We offer consultation, diagnosis and treatment for the following:

  • Crohn's disease and Colitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • IBS
  • Coeliac Disease
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease
  • Helicobacter (pylori)
  • Oesophageal Stricture and Dilatation
  • Stomach and Duodenal Ulcers
  • Stomach Cancer and Oesophageal Cancer
  • Barrett’s Oesophagus
  • Liver Disease
  • Cirrhosis
  • Portal Hypertension
  • Polyps
  • Ulcers and tumours of the lower intestine

I have a question about my endoscopy procedure

What is an endoscope?

An endoscope is a long, thin and flexible tube that has a light and camera at the end for doctors to see the inside of your body on a television screen. Endoscopes are either inserted through the mouth and down the throat or through the bottom. Discover more about the endoscope camera.

As well as being used to detect active bleeding from an ulcer, devices can be passed through the endoscope to stop the bleeding.

How do I prepare for an endoscopy?

We may ask you to avoid eating and drinking for several hours before your endoscopy to avoid any complications.  

Depending on the type of endoscope procedure you’re having, we may give you bowel preparation to use the day before to help you to empty your bowels.

To help you relax during the endoscopy you should wear comfortable clothes that aren’t too tight.

What happens during the endoscopy procedure?

The procedure usually takes place when you’re awake. You may be given a local anaesthetic to numb a specific part of your body or offered a sedative to help you relax and make you less aware of what’s going on. The sedative, which is administered via an injection into your vein, will relax you and may send you into a light sleep, this is known as conscious sedation.

How long does an endoscopy take?

The endoscope is inserted carefully into your body to allow your Consultant to carry out the procedure. This can take between 15 and 45 minutes. After the procedure you will be taken to our recovery area, which is monitored closely by one of the team.

Is it painful to do an endoscopy?

An endoscopy can be uncomfortable, so you should plan enough time to recover after your operation. You should make arrangements to get home in case you’re feel any discomfort afterwards, or if the procedure requires you to have sedatives.

What’s the difference between an endoscopy and a gastroscopy?

Endoscopy is a broad term used for a range of procedures using an endoscope. A gastroscopy is used to describe the examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract.

How much does a private endoscopy procedure cost?

Diagnostic Flexible Sigmoidoscopy - Bowel (lower) examination with biopsy of tissue

Guide price from £1,110

Diagnostic Colonoscopy - Bowel examination with biopsy of tissue

Guide price from £1,835

Stomach Examination - Gastroscopy, also known as Endoscopy

Guide price from £2,020


Guide price from £2,120


Guide price from £795

How can I book a self-pay endoscopy procedure?

Did you know that you can have a private endoscopy procedure? It’s easy to make an appointment; just complete our online booking form or give our Private Patient Team a call on 01580 363158.

Dr Adam Harris

Endoscopy procedures at our hospital

Dr Adam Harris, Consultant Gastroenterologist at Benenden Hospital, discusses endoscopy procedures at our hospital.

Contact us about a private endoscopy procedure

It's easy to find out more about treatment by giving us a call or completing our enquiry form.

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