With the recent evolution of advanced diagnostic procedures, there has been a paradigm shift made in the prompt and accurate diagnosis of ailments which were earlier considered to be hard to access areas. The latest advancements in endoscopic procedures not only help in easily accessing and diagnosing purposes, but also perform surgeries in a minimally invasive manner, and treating many patients with life threatening ailments.
The initiation of Endoscopy came due to the human curiosity of seeing things with naked eyes rather than relying on images and shadows with radiology. An endoscopy is a test or a procedure done to look inside the human body, it can be done to diagnose a disease or help surgeons conduct surgeries with minimal incisions. A thin tube with a camera on the end, called the endoscope is passed through the body to look inside.
Initially, Endoscopy was extended to GI Endoscopy, which started as a gastroscopy procedure in order to see the upper GI tract of a human being, checking the inside of the throat, stomach and the food pipe (oesophagus). But soon after, various advancements were made and colonoscopy came into the mix with doctors being able to examine the colon making them able to treat several health problems like GI Bleeding, Removal of Precancerous Tumours along with dilating the narrowed pipes.
With technology changing and growing rapidly in the 21st century, several new tests and procedures were introduced with Endoscopy being extended to pancreatic- biliary endoscopy by ERCP and therapeutics to figure out problems and diseases in the stomach and down to the biliary tree in order to diagnose and treat diseases in the biliary tract and organs associated with it like the liver, gallbladder or the pancreas. Several advancements in procedures were made in that field from removal of stones to taking care of narrowed tubes and plugging the leaks.
Several developments were made over time with endoscopists starting to look past the food pipe, one aspect of which was development in small bowel endoscopy in the form of the introduction of Capsule endoscopy and enteroscopy in order to look inside the small intestine and treat diseases inside it. On the other hand, advancements were made leading to development of Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS), which was initially used as a diagnostic modality in order to help stage the tumours in the digestive system by doing ultrasound closer to the ducts. The application was later expanded into tissue acquisition by FNAC and FNB and major advancements were made in EUS guided drainage of pancreatic collections and biliary stenting.
With advancements, the concept of third space endoscopy came into place after feasibility shown by Pankaj Pasricha in animal model; the clinical application came after in form of submucosal dissections in order to remove precancerous and cancerous areas in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Simultaneously came advancements in developing endoscopic treatment of GERD and Bariatrics to provide competitive, less invasive solutions to surgery.
With diseases and ailments on the rise due to various environmental factors along with adoption of poor and unhealthy lifestyle choices, it has become important to invest in state-of-the-art infrastructure and cutting-edge technology for every major healthcare provider in the country to expand and growth the healthcare system. Similarly, over time, BLK Max Super Speciality Hospital has invested in various healthcare services in the form of trained skilled personnel and safety practices and become one of the best units in the country in treating such ailments. Looking at the urgency, it has also become important to invest in young talent, hence our institute also trains several young doctors to become technically good, ethical and efficient endoscopists.
(Dr. Ajay Kumar, Chairman-Pan Max & HOD - Institute For Digestive & Liver Diseases, BLK-Max Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi