We provide high quality healthcare services primarily to the residents of East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen, which have a combined population in the region of 530,000.
There are numerous investigative procedures that the Endoscopy team carry out. More information can be found by clicking on the headings below:
An endoscope is a thin flexible tube with a light at the end, it is passed into the mouth by the endoscopist and then swallowed once it is in the correct position. The test allows the endoscopist to look directly at the lining of your oesophagus (gullet), stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). During the test the endoscopist may take samples (also called biopsies) for analysis or to check for infection in the lining of the stomach with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori. The samples are removed painlessly through the endoscope, using tiny forceps. The endoscope is removed once the procedure has been completed.
For further information about having a Gastroscopy please download the East Lancashire NHS Trust Having a Gastroscopy leaflet.
Please have nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours before you arrive at the Endoscopy unit.
You may take medication for heart conditions, high blood pressure, asthma, epilepsy or any steroids with a small sip of water, but you should not take any other medication.
If you take a proton pump inhibitor (eg Omeprazole or Lansoprazole) please stop taking these tablets two weeks prior to the date of your examination. If you are attending for a repeat procedure you may continue to take these tablets.
If you are an Insulin/tablet controlled diabetic or you are taking Warfarin, or you have a latex allergy please telephone the endoscopy unit you are attending.
Gastroscopy patient leaflet
An easy guide to having a gastrosopy
Oesophageal varices information guide
A video on having a gastroscopy
NHS Choices - Having a gastroscopy
E-referrals (Formerly Choose & Book)
A PEG is a small feeding tube which passes through the abdominal wall directly into the stomach. It allows nutrition to be provided without the need to swallow and thus is a method of providing long term nutrition and hydration. This may be required because a person cannot eat enough to meet their nutritional requirements. Common indications for a PEG tube include strokes (CVA), head injuries, cancer, neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease or surgery to the head and neck. The food is usually provided in a special liquid form that is dripped into the stomach slowly with a special pump or syringe. Medications can also be taken through the tube.
In order to position the tube correctly an endoscope (camera) will be passed through your mouth, down the oesophagus (gullet) and into the stomach. The tube can then be inserted through a small incision in the abdominal wall.
The PEG team includes a doctor, nurse, dietitian, speech and language therapist and district nurses who will be able to give more information as necessary and answer any questions you may have. For further information on having a PEG tube fitted, please download the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust leaflet on Having a PEG Feed.
A sigmoidoscopy is a test which allows the doctor to look directly at the lining of the large bowel (colon ) using a sigmoidoscope. The examination is limited to the lower segment of your large bowel. The sigmoidoscope is a flexible tube, about the thickness of your index finger. The doctor gets a clear view of the lining of the bowel and can check whether or not any disease is present. Sometimes the doctor takes a biopsy – a small sample of the lining for examination in the laboratory. A small piece of tissue is removed painlessly through the sigmoidoscope using biopsy forceps.
For more information on having a sigmoidoscopy, please download the East Lancashire NHS Trust Having a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy leaflet.
Most patients will need to take a laxative in order to clear their bowel before the examination. This will be discussed either by your GP or at the hospital when you attend for your appointment.
You may take medication for heart conditions, high blood pressure, asthma, epilepsy or any steroids with a small sip of water, but you should not take any other medication. If you take oral iron tablets you should stop these tablets one week prior to the procedure. If you are an Insulin/tablet controlled diabetic or you are taking Warfarin, or you have a latex allergy please telephone the endoscopy unit you are attending.
As this test involves the bowel it is important that you follow the bowel preparation instructions that have either been given to you in clinic or sent with your appointment letter.
Patient leaflet for Sigmoidoscopy
Moviprep patient information
Having gas and air for your endoscopy
Injection or banding of haemorrhoids
Video about having a flexible sigmoidoscopy
Having a rectal examination - NHS Choices
Colonoscopy is a test which allows the doctor to look directly at the lining of the large bowel (colon) using a colonoscope. The colonoscope is a flexible tube about the thickness of your index finger. The doctor gets a clear view of the lining of the bowel and can check whether or not any disease is present. Sometimes the doctor takes a biopsy – a small sample of the lining for examination in the laboratory. A small piece of tissue is removed painlessly through the colonoscope using biopsy forceps.
For further information on colonoscopy please download the East Lancashire NHS Trust Having a Colonoscopy leaflet
As this test involves the bowel it is important that you follow the bowel preparation instructions that have either been given to you in clinic or sent with your appointment letter, this will ensure that your bowel is clean so we can see the lining of your bowel.
If you have been prescribed moviprep for a morning or afternoon appointment, you can download the instructions here - Moviprep Patient Instructions
If you take oral iron tablets you should stop these tablets one week prior to the procedure.
If you are an Insulin/tablet controlled diabetic or you are taking Warfarin, or you have a latex allergy please telephone the endoscopy unit you are attending.
ERCP is a procedure performed under x-ray control using an endoscope, which allows the bile, pancreas and liver ducts to be examined. These ducts are outlined with x-ray dye. If gallstones or a narrowing of the bile duct are found, they can sometimes be treated during ERCP.
All ERCPs are undertaken at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital.
Read patient leaflet
Having an ERCP - Video
EUS is an investigation that uses a thin flexible tube (an endoscope) with a small ultrasound probe attached to the tip. This tube is inserted via the mouth into your gullet (oesophagus), stomach and upper part of the small intestine (duodenum). You may already have had an endoscopy (gastroscopy) to assess your symptoms as a first investigation. EUS is a similar test but is more elaborate and assesses the gut in an in-depth manner. You may also have had an ultrasound (US) or heard of it being done to look at baby in pregnant women. This is generally performed from the outside of the body via an US probe placed on the skin. Although this gives good images the US waves are distant from the organs inside your abdomen. EUS brings the US probe closer to the organs and provides clearer images.
View patient leaflet.
For more information on endoscopic ultrasouns scans (EUS) of the rectum please see this patient leaflet.
This procedure will be performed by a consultant who has been trained in endoscopic mucosal resection and is experienced in specialist endoscopy techniques.
What is endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR)?
Endoscopic mucosal resection is the name given to a procedure where specialised Endoscopic devices are used to remove abnormal areas in the lining of the oesophagus (gullet) or the stomach.
Who is suitable for endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR)?
EMR is potentially suitable for patients with small polyps in the stomach or gullet. For patients with early cancers or those at risk of developing cancer (Barrett’s Oesophagus) EMR may also be used. There is discussion at length by a team of specialists in a multidisciplinary meeting in order to decide a recommended treatment option.
For more information please read the EMR leaflet.
Information about having an EMR of the lower bowel.
What is Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR) of the lower bowel?
Endoscopic mucosal resection is the name given to a procedure where polyps of a larger size can be removed from the lower bowel safely.
For more information please read the EMR leaflet for the lower bowel.
Banding is a procedure that is sometimes used to treat second and third degree haemorrhoids.
Banding involves a very tight elastic band being placed around the base of your haemorrhoids to cut off their blood supply. The haemorrhoids should fall off within seven days of having the treatment.
Banding is usually carried out as a day procedure and you should be able to return to work the following day. However, you may feel some pain or discomfort for a day or so. Normal painkillers are usually effective but, if necessary, your GP may prescribe something stronger.
You may not realise the haemorrhoids have fallen off because they should pass out of your body when you go to the toilet. If you notice some mucus discharge within a week of the procedure, it usually means that the haemorrhoid has fallen off.
Directly after the procedure, you may notice some blood on the toilet paper after going to the toilet. This is normal, but there should not be a lot of bleeding. If you pass a lot of bright red blood or blood clots (solid lumps of blood), go to your nearest accident and emergency department immediately.
Infections or ulcers (open sores) can occur at the site of the banding. However, these complications are rare and can be easily treated.
Piles (haemorrhoids) - TreatmentVideo about Pile
Screening means looking for early signs of a disease in healthy people who do not have symptoms. Bowel cancer screening aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage when treatment is more likely to work. If you already have symptoms, you need to see your doctor straight away. Don't wait for a screening appointment.
Research has looked at 2 main ways of screening for bowel cancer
UK bowel cancer screening programmes aim to detect bowel cancer at an early stage. Regular bowel screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16%.
As well as finding cancer at an early stage, bowel cancer screening can find polyps on the inner lining of the bowel. Polyps develop when cells grow too quickly and form a clump known as a bowel polyp or an adenoma. These are usually benign (non cancerous) but some may contain cancer cells. They may develop into a cancer over a number of years. Polyps can easily be removed, which reduces the risk of bowel cancer developing.
There are separate bowel screening programmes in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In England, men and women aged between 60 and 69 years old are sent a stool testing kit (faecal occult blood test) every 2 years. This is gradually being extended to include people up to the age of 75. Currently, people aged 70 and over can request a kit by contacting the bowel cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 6060.
Stool testing means looking for hidden (occult) blood in your stool (faeces). It is also called faecal occult blood testing, or FOB, for short.
If you are within the age range of the bowel cancer screening programme, you will get a testing kit through the post every 2 years. This is a simple way for you to collect small samples of your bowel motions. You do this in your own home. You wipe the sample on a special card, which you then send to a laboratory for testing in a hygienically sealed, prepaid envelope. There are detailed instructions with each kit. You may think that the test sounds a bit embarrassing or unpleasant, but collecting the samples only takes a minute. You will be sent the results of your test by post within 2 weeks.
Only around 2 out of every 100 people tested (2%) are likely to have blood in their stool sample (an abnormal result). Other medical conditions or some things in your diet can cause an abnormal FOB result so this does not necessarily mean you have cancer. If you have an abnormal result, you will be offered an appointment with a specialist nurse at a bowel screening centre. You will have a more detailed examination, and may be offered a colonoscopy to see whether there is a problem that needs treatment.
In England, for every 1,000 people who have the FOB test, around 20 will have an abnormal result and may be asked to do the test again. Around 16 of those people will have a colonoscopy. Of those 16
Some people have an unclear result, which means there was a slight suggestion of blood in your FOB test sample. If you have an unclear result, you will be sent another FOB test kit and asked to do the test again. This is because the result could have been caused by medical conditions such as haemorrhoids (piles) or stomach ulcers.
An abnormal result can happen if you eat a lot of red meat, turnips, or horseradish in the 3 days before the test. You can also have an abnormal result if you have had recent dental work that caused bleeding.
A normal test result doesn't completely rule out cancer. So, it is important to be aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer and see your GP if you are worried.
People who have an abnormal stool test (faecal occult blood test) as part of the NHS bowel cancer screening programme are offered a test called a colonoscopy. Colonoscopy involves a doctor or specialist nurse examining the inside of your bowel with a long flexible tube. You can read detailed information on the colonoscopy drop down.
Patients needing a colonoscopy through the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme are usually seen at Burnley General Teaching Hospital.
Bowel Cancer Screening - NHS Choices
Coronation Street Star backs bowel cancer screening campaign
Informed choices about bowel cancer screening
NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Website
Understanding Bowel Cancer Screening
Your GP has asked for an appointment with the colorectal team based at your local hospital. The clinic is staffed by qualified nurses and healthcare assistants who are there to answer any questions that you may have. Please try not to feel embarrassed or too uncomfortable to discuss your bowel problem and symptoms or ask questions. We know that no one likes discussing their bowels, and that it can be embarrassing, but the staff see patients with bowel conditions every day.
In the colorectal clinic booklet you will find some of the possible causes of bowel problems and suggests some things that might be helpful for you to consider before you visit the clinic.
Your doctor has advised you to undergo these combined procedures to help find the cause of your symptoms.
The first test is called a gastroscopy; this is to look directly into the gullet (oesophagus), stomach and the first part of the small bowel (duodenum). The second procedure you will be having is called a colonoscopy. This is an examination of the large bowel (colon).
The gastroscope is passed into the mouth by the endoscopist and then swallowed once it is in the correct position. The test allows the endoscopist to look directly at the lining of your oesophagus (gullet), stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).
Colonoscopy is a test which allows the doctor to look directly at the lining of the large bowel (colon). The doctor gets a clear view of the lining of the bowel and can check whether or not any disease is present.
During the tests the endoscopist may take samples (also called biopsies) for any disease or infection. The samples are removed painlessly through the endoscope, using tiny forceps. The endoscope is removed once the procedure has been completed.
View the leaflet having a gastroscopy and colonoscopy