Endoscopy is a way of examining the inside of the body using a flexible tube that has a small camera in the end of it. An endoscope is passed through a natural body opening or small incision. Endoscopy is commonly used to examine the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract and urogenital tract. A forceps may be inserted through an endoscope to obtain biopsy specimens of the tissue examined.
Major invasive surgery can often be avoided by utilizing endoscopy. For example, a dog presented for vomiting and abdominal pain. X-rays showed the presence of a fishhook in the stomach. Endoscopy of the stomach was performed and the needle was located. Retrieval forceps were inserted through the endoscope and the fishhook was removed. Invasive surgery of the stomach was avoided and a happy dog was sent home to his relieved owners within hours of the endoscopy procedure.