Endoscopy and Ultrasound
Endoscopy and ultrasonography are minimally-invasive diagnostic procedures commonly used to evaluate the abdominal organs or the respiratory tract (bronchoscopy). These tools can be used to establish a diagnosis, or monitor a medical condition. In addition, organ biopsies can be performed, which may help avoid a more invasive surgical procedure.
The information obtained from ultrasonography is complementary to radiographs, blood and urine testing (i.e. the "minimum database"); it often helps to determine the next diagnostic or therapeutic step in a patient's care. Endoscopy is often the best way to evaluate the inside of the gastrointestinal tract or respiratory tract. While general anesthesia is required during endoscopy, this diagnostic procedure is much less invasive than traditional surgery. The benefits of endoscopy may include shortened anesthetic time, less physiologic stress and discomfort, quicker recovery time, and fewer serious complications.