Endoscopic Surgery | MedStar Health

This type of surgery is performed using a scope, a flexible tube with a camera and light at the tip. This allows your surgeon to see inside your colon and perform procedures without making major incisions, allowing for easier recovery time and less pain and discomfort. Endoscopic procedures are most often used for diagnosis.

Snaring is the most common surgical procedure that can be performed through any of the endoscopes. A snare is a wire that is like a lasso. The snare is looped over the tumor and tightened; then the wire is electrified to prevent bleeding as it cuts through.

Endoscopies performed by our colon and rectal surgeons to achieve surgeries may include:


During this procedure, the anus, rectum and colon are examined using a colonoscope, a flexible tube with a camera and light at the tip. The inside of the colon is examined carefully, looking for signs of disease. A biopsy, a small piece of tissue, may be taken at this time, for later examination under a microscope.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

During this procedure, the rectum and sigmoid colon are examined using a scope, similar to a colonoscope. The flexible sigmoidoscope is 65 cm long and is used to examine the rectum and sigmoid colon.

The rigid sigmoidoscopy 

The rigid sigmoidoscope is 25cm long and is generally used to examine the rectum.


During this procedure, your doctor will examine the inside of the anus and anal canal with the anoscope. The surgeon may remove a small piece of tissue, called a biopsy. This biopsy will be examined under a microscope later for signs of disease by a pathologist, a doctor who is expert in looking at cells under the microscope.

What to expect from endoscopic surgery

  1. Your doctor will give you bowel preparations for the day before your procedure. These typically include taking a laxative and not eating or drinking after midnight. You should refer to a list of medications to avoid taking, including aspirin because it can cause bleeding problems during and after surgery.
  2. Most endoscopic procedures/surgeries last for one hour. However, you will probably be at a MedStar Health facility for three to four hours.
  3. If your doctor performs a biopsy, the results are returned in three to seven days.
  4. Any effects are generally gone by the following morning.
  5. You will not be allowed to drive yourself home, so you must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

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