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Difference Between Endoscopy and Laparoscopy

Endoscopy vs Laparoscopy

Endoscopy and laparoscopy are procedures performed to diagnose certain diseases. Both procedures are minimally invasive as they use equipment to visualize internal areas of the body which cannot be seen by the naked eye.  It is the decision of the physician to prescribe such procedures. As minimally invasive procedures, they do not require large incisions to get a view of what’s inside the body.

Endoscopy is performed to get a visual of the digestive tract. This procedure is commonly performed by a gastroenterologist to assess the esophagus, the duodenum, and the stomach with the use of a thin, flexible tube with a monitoring device attached at its end.  Laparoscopy involves making a small incision along the abdomen so a small telescope can be inserted through the incision to get a good view inside the abdominal area. This procedure is commonly used to confirm the presence and assess the severity of digestive ulcers.

Prior to an endoscopic procedure, the physician will discuss with his patient how the procedure works and how it is performed.  Physicians should also inform their patients of any alternative methods to the procedure as well as the consequences of performing such a procedure.  Physicians have different practices, but usually local anesthetics can be sprayed into the patient’s throat to provide a numbing sensation so the device can be introduced into the oral cavity.  In some cases, sedatives and painkillers may also be administered to relieve any pain and discomfort that may result during and after the procedure. The endoscope is the instrument used for such a procedure, and it starts from the mouth then down to the stomach and the duodenum. This type of procedure does not serve as an obstruction of the airway, and patients can still breathe normally.  Most patients only experience mild discomfort while being probed and may just sleep through the entire procedure.

Laparoscopy is another technique that performs small incisions into the abdomen and is usually performed for a cholecystectomy. This incision will serve as the gateway for the tube which is also connected to a video camera to give a glimpse of the inside the abdomen.  The instrument used for this procedure is called a laparoscope. Usually, the procedure involves having the abdomen blown up much like a balloon using carbon dioxide gas.  This allows the abdominal wall to elevate so organs can be viewable. The gas CO2 is used as it is common in the body and is readily absorbed by body tissues and naturally excreted via the respiratory system. It is non-flammable, which is an important thing since electrosurgical equipment are used for these procedures.

After going through an endoscopic procedure, the patient should be monitored closely in a recovery room until it is obvious that a portion of the anesthetics have worn off.  A patient may also experience a sore throat.  Just like endoscopy, patients who underwent a laparoscopy also need to stay in the recovery room for a time. The patient should be monitored for any complications following the procedure.


1. Endoscopy and laparoscopy are both diagnostic procedures that involve minimal invasion of the body.
2. Both procedures do not produce intense pain right after; only mild pain and discomfort is felt in contrast to invasive procedures.
2. Though laparoscopy is classified as a minimally invasive procedure, it still requires an incision but only to a small extent unlike endoscopy where no incisions are involved.
3. The instrument used in endoscopy is called an endoscope while the one that is used for a laparoscopy is called a laparoscope.
4. Endoscopy is commonly used to get a good view of the digestive system, more specifically to confirm the presence and assess the severity of peptic ulcers.
5. Patients should be confined and carefully monitored after performing either of the procedures.

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1 Comment

  1. Endoscopy is a medical procedure that uses tube-like instrument to look inside the body, but it is different from X-ray and CT Scan. Laparoscopy is a type of surgical process in which a small incision is made.

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