What is a Triple Endoscopy (also known as a Triple Scope)?
A Triple scope is a comprehensive endoscopic evaluation of your child’s aerodigestive system including the airway, lungs, and esophagus under general anesthesia. The procedure is a critical part of evaluating many children with breathing and feeding problems. The procedure involves endoscopy using a combination of rigid and flexible cameras performed as a coordinated procedure under a single anesthetic by your child’s Otolaryngologist (ENT), Pulmonologist and Gastroenterologist physicians to improve patient care, outcomes and cost measures. By combining the procedures under one anesthesia event, your team can provide a more comprehensive evaluation and avoid multiple trips to the operating room.
The Triple scope typically takes approximately one hour to complete followed by a short stay in the recovery room and is generally planned as an outpatient procedure. Most children can return to their normal daily activities the following day.
About the Scopes
The first scope is called a Direct Laryngoscopy and Bronchoscopy which uses a rigid endoscope to assess the structures and overall function of your child’s voice box and windpipe by the ENT physician. Pictures and video are often taken during the procedure and reviewed with you once complete.
The second scope is called a Flexible Bronchoscopy with Bronchoalveolar Lavage that uses a flexible endoscope to assess the structure and health of your child’s lower airways and lungs by the Pulmonary physician. Pictures and video are taken during the procedure. A lavage or “rinsing” of the lower airways is performed with a saline solution that is then suctioned and specimens are collected to assess the types of cells obtained, any abnormal bacteria or fungal growth that may require treatment. The completed results are available within 7-10 days.
The third scope is called an Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) that uses a flexible endoscope to visualize the structure and health of the food pipe (esophagus), stomach and small intestine. Gentle air pressure is typically used to inflate the upper digestive tract for adequate visualization. Pictures and biopsies are taken during this procedure with completed results available within 7-10 days.
Potential Side Effects and Risks
Side effects from the Triple scope are typically minor, temporary, and self-resolving but your child may experience a sore throat, cough, fever, abdominal pain, belching or brief changes in stool color following the procedure.
Please be advised of potential rare risks of injury to lips, teeth, tongue, upper/lower airways or upper digestive tract, bleeding, infection, loss of airway with potential need for surgical airway, need for further surgery and reactions to anesthesia.