How is a colonoscopy different from an endoscopy?

Posted in , , , , by Miss Kornelija Dedelaite

The word “endoscopy” refers to a broader range of non-surgical visual inspection techniques used to look into the human body. For instance, a colonoscopy looks at the entire colon, the rectum, and/or the terminal ileum, whereas an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) looks at the oesophagus, stomach, and proximal duodenum.


Usually, endoscopies are used to diagnose illnesses, including cancer. When endoscopy is used for treatment, procedures like stent implantation, stricture dilatation, and polyp or foreign body removal may be involved. Since polyps often progress to cancer, removing them is also seen as a preventive step.

The engineering community and other scientific fields have contributed to the advancement of the basic endoscope, which has allowed for technique innovation and improved patient care.


One kind of endoscopy that examines the colon and terminal ileum is called a colonoscopy. A colonoscope, a 1.6 m long tube with an aperture of roughly 12 to 15 mm, is used to do it. Along with light illumination, a camera, air and water insufflation, and channels that can suction and perform biopsies to remove leftover stool, it also features other devices like waterjet lens cleaning. Other tools that can be used for particular tasks as needed can also be included in the channels. For instance, use snares that burn through the base of polyps to remove larger ones, or forceps to remove smaller ones.

Colonoscopy is usually a well-tolerated operation that is carried out under intravenous anaesthesia. Appropriate pre-preparations, including bowel preparation, are required for a safe and effective colonoscopy.

Since a colonoscopy may concurrently perform interventional operations when necessary and optically inspect the whole colon it makes it possible to diagnose benign lesions in vivo, which helps avoid unnecessary polypectomies that depend on the surgical excision of polyps.

CT Virtual Colonoscopy

The use of virtual colonoscopy is a less intrusive method of screening for large intestine cancer. Screening CT colonography is another name for virtual colonoscopy.

Virtual colonoscopy uses a CT scan to provide hundreds of cross-sectional images of your abdominal organs, as opposed to the standard or traditional colonoscopy, which requires a scope to be inserted into your rectum and pushed into your colon. Afterwards, the images are composited to give a full view of the colon and rectum. Similar to a traditional colonoscopy, a virtual colonoscopy requires a bowel cleaning. The CT virtual colonoscopy continues to be the gold standard procedure for treating colon cancer.

Some of the benefits of a CT virtual colonoscopy are as follows:

  • It is less intrusive and uncomfortable. Most of the time, anaesthesia or painkillers are not necessary.
  • Less time is needed.
  • There is less chance that it will damage the big intestine.
  • For certain individuals who are unable to undergo routine colonoscopies, it might be utilised. It may occasionally be applied to patients who have issues with breathing, oedema, or bleeding.
  • It might be able to reveal big intestinal regions that a standard colonoscopy is unable to see. This could be true if there is a blockage or narrowing of a portion of the gut.

Summary table:

Type A term used for different types of examinations that allow visual inspection of the interior of the human body A type of endoscopy
Body structure examined Examines a range of organs and structures of the human body, depending on the type of endoscopy Examines the lower part of the digestive tract and colon
Insertion of the tube May involve incisions Passed through the rectum into the colon
Use of anaesthesia May involve sedation, depending on the type of endoscopy Intravenous sedation
Complications Varies depending on the type of endoscopy May cause minor cramping and bloating.
Pre-preparations Different preparations may be needed depending on the type of endoscopy. For example, fasting, laxatives, or stopping medication. Bowel preparation is required. It involves drinking large amounts of cleansing liquids, along with laxatives, enemas, and a certain diet.
During procedure May or may not require patients to change positions It requires the patient to change the position on left, right, etc


In summary, endoscopy is the term for a variety of non-surgical visual inspection techniques used to look within the human body. One kind of endoscopy used to check for colorectal diseases, such as cancer, is the colonoscopy. If polyps are found during a colonoscopy and removed right away, the development of colorectal cancer may be averted.

Health management with Echelon Health

Private health examinations represent a significant improvement in the management of individual healthcare. They offer a thorough, personalised method that goes beyond the parameters of standard health assessments. In addition to making an investment in their present well-being, some choose to be proactive by scheduling a private health examination in order to guarantee their health in the future.

This comprehensive approach to health is essential in the current environment, where proactive health management can lead to long-term health benefits and an improved quality of life. Advances in medical technology and a growing emphasis on preventative healthcare are likely to make private health checks an essential part of health management for individuals who value their health and well-being.

The Platinum Assessment from Echelon Health is the most adept at diagnosing a wide range of illnesses. In fact, we can identify up to 92% and 95% of the preventable causes of death in men and women, respectively, using the Platinum Assessment.

The following is a complete list of scans that are part of the Platinum Assessment:

  • Medical Questionnaire
  • Blood Test
  • ECG
  • CT Aorta
  • CT Heart
  • CT Coronary Angiogram
  • CT Chest
  • CT Pelvis
  • CT Virtual Colonoscopy
  • CT Bone Density
  • EOS
  • CT Upright Skeleton
  • MRI Brain
  • MRI Cerebral Artery Angiogram
  • MRI Carotid Artery Angiogram
  • MRI Prostate
  • Ultrasound Thyroid
  • Ultrasound Testes/Ovaries
  • Digital Mammogram
  • Full Body Mole Screen
  • Final consultation


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our team. We will always be delighted to help you, answer any questions and walk you through booking your own health assessment.