The word “endoscopy,” denotes the use of video instruments to investigate and possibly biopsy certain body cavities. It is a “noninvasive,” procedure which means no surgical incisions are required. For the patient, this means a short anesthetic period with a rapid recovery. All endoscopies in small animals require full anesthesia, and therefore requires pre-anesthetic evaluations such as blood tests, radiographs (x-rays), and an ECG. Endoscopies are usually considered among the low-risk procedures in veterinary medicine.
Endoscopic foreign body retrieval allows for quick removal of swallowed objects when they have remained in the stomach. Appropriately sized objects that can be removed with the aid of specialized tools passed through the scope may obviate the need for expensive and invasive surgical procedures.