Nurse carrying out endoscopy on patient

The Northern Trust provides endoscopy services at four locations: Antrim Area Hospital, Causeway Hospital, Coleraine, Mid Ulster Hospital, Magherafelt and Whiteabbey Hospital.

An endoscopy is a procedure that allows a doctor or specially trained nurse to look at areas of your gastrointestinal tract. They can look down the endoscope and see if there is any inflammation or any other abnormalities. By using the endoscope, samples (biopsies) can be taken of any abnormal looking tissues.

We are a teaching Trust and therefore students and trainee endoscopists might be involved in your care.   This will not affect the quality of your treatment and the students and trainees will be supervised at all times.   Please tell us if you wish for them not to be involved in your care.

Types of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

There are two types of Gastrointestinal endoscopy (GI); Upper and Lower.

Upper GI Endoscopy

Upper GI Endoscopy is often called OGD (OesophagoGastroDuodenoscopy).

OGD looks at your gullet, stomach and Duodenum (the first part of your small bowel) and can show what is wrong if you are having difficulties with swallowing, indigestion, heartburn or nausea.

Lower GI Endoscopy

Lower GI Endoscopy involves a colonoscopy which looks at all of the large bowel and a flexible sigmoidoscopy which examines the left side of the large bowel.

These tests can show us what is wrong if you have changes in your bowel habits, blood in stools, unexplained anaemia and as a screening test for colon cancer.

Research and clinical trials

Research is vital to improving the care that you receive when you’re unwell. You can help improve healthcare by taking part in research studies at our Trust. During your appointment, ask your healthcare professional about research. They’ll be happy to tell you about research studies you could be eligible to join.

Interpreting and other support

We can provide communication and language support to help with your care.  If English is not your first language, we can arrange for an interpreter at your appointment.

To book an interpreter we need your appointment details, where and when it is, the language you need and as much notice as possible.

We can also offer British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters, translations of our printed information leaflets and hearing loops.

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