Endoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic medical procedure in which a surgeon uses an endoscope to look inside a patient’s body.
The endoscope consists of a tubular probe fitted with a tiny camera and light, which is inserted to the body through a small incision. The camera transmits footage to a viewing screen, which magnifies the images of the body’s internal structures.
Except for the incisions that must be made in the skin, endoscopy is very similar to colonoscopy (Learn more about Thailand Colonoscopy). Endoscopy is also used for a wider range of procedures.
Endoscopy Photo Tutorial
Endoscopy is relatively safe and has been used for decades in operations such as gallbladder removal, tubal ligation, and knee surgery. Endoscopy has also recently been introduced to the world of plastic surgery. Many plastic surgeons believe the technique holds great promise and research is now being done to evaluate its effectiveness in these newer cosmetic procedures.
There are many benefits from using endoscopy instead of open surgery, these include:
- Small, Hidden Scars – The small incisions which are made for the endoscope and instruments are typically less than 1 inch. Scarring will be minimal and can be well hidden.
- Recovery Time – Endoscopy can be done under sedation in an outpatients ward. In most cases you will avoid an over night stay and be back to your daily routine quicker than if you had open surgery.
- Nerve Damage – Due to the small size of the incisions, the risk of sensory loss from nerve damage is decreased. Bleeding, bruising and swelling may also be significantly reduced.
For now endoscopy is only used on limited basis for both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Procedures that may be assisted by endoscopy include:
- Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) – Through several short incisions, endoscopy can be used to tighten the muscles that run vertically down the abdomen. Endoscopy is generally not used in patients who have a significant amount of loose abdominal skin.
- Breast augmentation – This only requires two small incisions in the underarm or naval. The endoscope can then assist the surgeon in positioning the breast implants. Endoscopy can also be used to correct a capsular contracture (scar tissue that sometimes forms around an implant), and in the evaluation of existing implants.
- Facelift – When an endoscope is used, the customary incision along, or in the hairline is usually eliminated. Instead, small incisions may be strategically placed in areas where the most correction is needed. The endoscope may also assist in the positioning of cheek and chin implants however a traditional facelift is still the best choice for most patients, especially for those with a significant amount of excess skin.
- Forehead lift – This is probably the most common cosmetic procedure which often uses endoscopy. Instead of an ear-to-ear incision, three or more small incisions are made just at the hair line. Using the endoscope the surgeon can remove the muscles that produce frown lines; they can also reposition the eyebrows at a higher level.
- Flap surgery – Endoscopy is often used to borrow tissue from one body part to repair another. Using the endoscope and a series of small incisions, tissue can be removed from the donor site and implanted where required.
- Placement of tissue expanders – Silicone balloons called tissue expanders are often used in reconstructive surgery. They are implanted beneath the skin and then inflated to help stretch areas of healthy skin. The surgeon uses the endoscope to help position the tissue expander precisely.
- Sinus surgery – An endoscope can assist a surgeon in pinpointing and correcting sinus-drainage problems. It can also help locate nasal polyps (growths) or other problems within the sinus cavity, and assist in full rhino-septal surgery.
- Carpal tunnel release – An endoscope can be used cut the ligament in the wrist which puts pressure on the median nerve. The surgeon will use the endoscope locate the median nerve and then insert scissors or a scalpel to cut the ligament.
Because the procedure is relatively new to plastic surgery, it is important that you select a board-certified plastic surgeon with adequate training and experience. ThaiMed use only the best board certified plastic surgeons in Thailand.
All of our Thai doctors have had years of training and experience in the US and are now working with us to give you the safest and best medical packages for your needs.
Any type of surgery carries risks, and although endoscopy is relatively safe, it is still important to be aware and understand the dangers of the procedure. These include: Infection, fluid accumulation beneath the skin, blood vessel damage, nerve damage, internal perforation and skin injury.
These complications are rare – estimated to occur less than 5% of the time. If however a complication does arise, you may have to switch to an open procedure which could leave you with more scarring.