• bronchoscopy - examines your airways
  • colonoscopy - examines your bowel
  • cystoscopy - examines the inside of your bladder
  • ERCP – examines the pancreatic and bile ducts
  • gastroscopy – examines your gullet, stomach and first part of the small intestine
  • sigmoidoscopy - examines the rectum and lower part of your bowel

We also use endoscopes to carry out more difficult treatments. For example, they may be used to:

  • remove gallstones
  • repair a bleeding area in the digestive system
  • remove abnormal growths from inside the bowel

When you’re referred to the Endoscopy Unit, we’ll send you some information about how you need to prepare, what you need to bring and what to expect during your appointment.

Most of our appointments are outpatient appointments which means you will not have to stay in the hospital overnight. Depending on the procedure you’re having, appointments can take up to 4 hours:

  • bronchoscopy – can take up to 45 minutes but expect to be in the unit most of the morning or afternoon
  • colonoscopy - can take up to 45 minutes but expect to be in the unit most of the morning or afternoon
  • cystoscopy – this is a short test that usually takes around 5 to 10 minutes
  • gastroscopy – can take around 10 minutes but you may need to stay longer if you require a sedative
  • sigmoidoscopy – this test takes less than 15 minutes
  • endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) - can take up to an hour but you should expect to be in the unit for the entire morning

Please be aware that the time given on your appointment letter is your admission time, not the time of your procedure.

As our team also deal with emergencies, these might take priority over your appointment and you may have to wait. If this happens, we’ll do our best to keep you informed but you can ask a member of the team if you’re concerned.

Throughout your appointment and procedure our specialist team will be there to support and care for you. Our team consists of:

  • consultant gastroenterologists
  • respiratory doctors
  • surgeons
  • specialist nurse endoscopists

Our staff work hard to make sure your privacy is protected at all times. This means that although your family or friends can come to the unit, they will not be allowed to go beyond the waiting room unless there is a medical reason for them to do so. Please do not be offended when they are asked to wait outside.

If you’re worried or have any questions about your appointment, you can call us on one of the numbers below.

Cumberland Infirmary
Yellow Zone
Ground floor
Ward manager: 01228 814154
Ward office: 01228 814987   

West Cumberland Hospital
Ground floor
Unit manager: 01946 523034
Ward office: 01946 523035