Endoscopy is a procedure that involves looking inside the body with a long thin tube called an endoscope.

We carry out endoscopies looking into the gastrointestinal tract (stomach and bowels), as well as cystoscopies, looking into the urinary system (waterworks) and bronchoscopies, examining the respiratory tract (breathing tubes and lungs).

We have three endoscopy units one each at Sandwell Hospital, City Hospital, and the Birmingham Treatment Centre (BTC) next to City Hospital. 

The endoscopy units at the Trust are JAG accredited. JAG is a national body that oversees endoscopy training and carries out assessment of endoscopy units to ensure they meet JAG quality standards. More information about JAG can be found here:  Information for patients (thejag.org.uk). We also have members of our team who are part of the JAG quality inspection team.

What gastrointestinal endoscopy tests do we do?

We do the following gastrointestinal (GI) tract endoscopy procedures:

Upper GI endoscopy
This procedure looks into the oesophagus (or esophgagus), stomach and duodenum (upper GI tract).
We do trans oral gastroscopy, where the tube is placed through the mouth and then into the upper GI tract. Patients are given a choice of sedation or local anaesthetic spray for this.
We are also introducing a procedure called trans nasal gastroscopy. This is where the tube is thinner and can be placed through the nose and into the upper GI tract.

Colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy
A colonoscopy looks around the entire rectum and colon. A sigmoidoscopy is when we look at just the rectum and lower part of colon.

Endoscopic ultrasound
This is where we look into the upper GI tract and can do a special ultrasound scan and sometimes take specimens and do treatments.

ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography)
This is a test where we use an endoscope to inject dye into the bile ducts, gall bladder and pancreas. 

Who carries out the endoscopy procedures?
Your endoscopy procedure may be carried out by one of the medical or surgical consultants (doctors). We also have advanced clinical practitioners and clinical endoscopists. These are healthcare professionals who have undergone specialist training and education to undertake endoscopy safely and effectively.
We are proud to be part of the Midlands Endoscopy Training Academy. This means that some procedures are carried out by trainees under the careful supervision of a trainer.

Here are links to the patient information for our GI endoscopy tests:

Having a colonoscopy: Having-a-Colonoscopy-ML5879.pdf (swbh.nhs.uk)
Having an ERCP: https://www.swbh.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Having-an-ERCP-ML5878.pdf
Having a flexible sigmoidoscopy:  https://www.swbh.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Having-a-Flexible-Sigmoidoscopy-ML5880.pdf
Having an endoscopic ultrasound: https://www.swbh.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Having-an-Endoscopic-Ultrasound-ML5881.pdf
Having a gastroscopy: https://www.swbh.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Having-a-Gastroscopy-ML6458.pdf
Having a trans nasal gastroscopy: https://www.swbh.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Having-a-Trans-Nasal-Gastroscopy-TNG-ML6859.pdf
Having an oesophageal dilatation: https://www.swbh.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Having-an-Oesophageal-Dilatation-ML7019.pdf
Managing your diabetes when taking laxative bowel preparation: https://www.swbh.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Managing-your-diabetes-when-taking-laxative-bowel-preparation-ML6997.pdf
Preparing for your gastroscopy when you have diabetes:  http://www.swbh.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Preparing-for-a-gastroscopy-when-you-have-diabetes-ML41291.pdf
Having an EBUS: https://www.swbh.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Having-EBUS-TBNA-ML5979.pdf
Having an oesophageal dilatation : https://www.swbh.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Having-an-Oesophageal-Dilatation-ML7019.pdf
Having a Colonoscopy through a Stoma ML7029
Plenvu laxative leaflet – morning appointment: https://www.swbh.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/PLENVU-Laxative-instructions-morning-appointment-ML7308.pdf

Plenvu laxative leaflet afternoon appointment: https://www.swbh.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/PLENVU-Laxative-instructions-ML7362.pdf

Aftercare leaflets

Advice following a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy without sedation ML5876
Advice following a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy with sedation ML5877
Endoscopy Advice following a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy with entonox ML6599
Endoscopy Advice following a gastroscopy with sedation ML6475
Endoscopy Advice following gastroscopy with local anaesthetic throat spray ML6476

Useful websites

British Society of Gastroenterology patient information page:  Patients – The British Society of Gastroenterology (bsg.org.uk)
Information leaflets: For patients: Conditions – Guts UK (gutscharity.org.uk)
Crohn’s disease and Colitis: crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/
Coeliac disease:

City Hospital and Birmingham Treatment Centre: 0121 507 5318 (Monday-Friday 7.30am-6.30)

Sandwell Hospital 0121 507 3467 or 0121 507 3460  (Monday-Friday 9am-4.30pm)