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What is paediatric Endoscopy?

Paediatric Endoscopy

All paediatric endoscopies are at the Spire Southampton.



What is Endoscopy?


Endoscopy is a broad term for two procedures:


Gastroscopy or Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

The Gastroscope is passed into the back of the throat to investigate the oesophagus (food pipe), stomach and duodenum (1st part of small intestine)


Ileo-colonoscopy or Lower Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

The Colonoscope is passed via the back passage looks into all of the large intestine and ileum (end part of small intestine). In the caecum the inside of the appendix can also be seen. The colon needs to be clear before the procedure. We use laxatives (bowel prep) one day before the procedure

I am an experienced Paediatric Endoscopist, with more than 20 years endoscopy experience. I offer paediatric diagnostic and thereapeutic procedures working in a Tertiary Paediatric Gastroenterology University Hospital Service.


I am the lead and trainer for paediatric endoscopy in Southampton. I am also the national Chair for the endoscopy working group BSPGHAN (British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition). I have endoscoped (diagnostic & interventional) all paediatric age ranges (premature babies  to 18 years old teenagers)

Is paediatric endoscopy different from adult endoscopy?


Yes it is.


We need smaller endoscopes and technically smaller bowels can be harder to endoscope

All paediatric endoscopic procedures are under general anaesthetic (not awake). This is in keeping with national UK guidance for paediatric endoscopy

We need specialized anaesthetics experience in anaesthetizing children


WHERE AND How is paediatric endoscopy done ?

All endoscopies are done at the Spire Southampton.

There is generally no overnight stay for the endoscopic procedures.

What risks or complications may occur?

I have been endoscoping for 22 years now. However, every procedure has risks.


The anaesthetic risks will be discussed by the anaesthetist on the day.


Bleeding may occur from a biopsy site but it usually stops and settles. In addition gastroscopy may result in perforation of the oesophagus or stomach but this is very rare. The risk is higher in case of an abnormal stricture or narrowing which needs stretching with a balloon. All possible interventional endoscopies, if planned or likely, will be discussed.


A colonoscopy may result in perforation of the colon but this is rare. The risk is higher if a polyp is removed.


The endoscopy may be incomplete if there is difficulty in passing the endoscope of a possible risk of perforation is perceived tude to presence of severe inflammation


Intestine lining under the microscope

My published Scientific Papers on Paediatric Endoscopy

  • Schluckebier D, Afzal NA, THomson M. Therapeutic upper gastroenterointestinal endoscopy in paediatric gastroenterology. Frontiers in Paediatrics - section Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition. 2021 (Submitted for publication)

  • Narula P, Broughton R, Howarth L, Piggott A, Bremner R, Tzivinikos C, Gillett P, Henderson P, Rawat D, Cullen M, Loganathan S, Devadason D, Afzal NA, Maginnis J, McKenna S, Thomson M, Green J, Johnston D. Paediatric Endoscopy Global Rating Scale: Development of a Quality Improvement Tool and Results of a National Pilot. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2019 Apr

  • Oliva S, Thomson M, de Ridder L, Martín-de-Carpi J, Van Biervliet S, Braegger C, Dias JA, Kolacek S, Miele E, Buderus S, Bronsky J, Winter H, Navas-López VM, Assa A, Chong SKF, Afzal NA, Smets F, Shaoul R, Hussey S, Turner D, Cucchiara S. Endoscopy in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Position Paper on Behalf of the Porto IBD Group of the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2018 Sep;67(3):414-430

  • Ashton JJ, Bonduelle Q, Mossotto E, Coelho T, Batra A, Afzal NA, Vadgama B, Ennis S, Beattie RM. Endoscopic and Histological Assessment of Paediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Over a 3-Year Follow-up Period. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2018 Mar;66(3):402-409

  • Rahman I, Patel P, Boger P, Thomson M, Afzal NA. Utilisation of magnets to enhance gastrointestinal endoscopy. World J Gastrointest Endosc. 2015 Dec 25;7(19):1306-10. doi: 10.4253/wjge.v7.i19.1306.

  • Rahman I, Afzal NA, Patel P. The role of magnetic assisted capsule endoscopy (MACE) to aid visualisation in the upper GI tract. Comput Biol Med. 2015 Mar 24. pii: S0010- 4825(15)00092-X. doi: 10.1016/j.compbiomed.2015.03.014.

  • Rahman I, Patel P, Boger P, Rasheed S, Thomson M, Afzal NA. Therapeutic upper gastrointestinal tract endoscopy in Paediatric Gastroenterology. World J Gastrointest Endosc. 2015 Mar 16;7(3):169-82

  • Thomson M, Antao B, Hall S, Afzal N, Hurlston P, Swain CP, Fritscher-Ravens A. Medium-term outcome of endoluminal gastroplication with the EndoCinch device in children. Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition. Sep 2008;46(2):172-7

  • Afzal NA, Thomson M. Interventional endoscopy: recent innovations. Pediatric Gastrointestinal Disease. Pathophysiology, diagnosis and management (Textbook). 5th edition. 2008

  • Castellaneta SP, Afzal NA, Greenberg M, Francavilla R, Deere H, Davies S, Murch SH, Walker-Smith JA, Thomson M. Diagnostic role of upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in paediatric inflammatory bowel disease. Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition. Sep 2004;39(3):257-61

  • Afzal NA, Albert D, Lloyd-Thomas A, Thomson M. A child with oesophageal strictures. Lancet 2002 Mar 23;359(9311):1032

  • Thomson M, Sharon H, Afzal N, Ashwood P, Fritscher-Ravens A, Swain P. Endoluminal gastroplication in children with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease: 1 year follow-up. Gut. Dec 2004;53(12):1745-50

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