An endoscopy is a procedure that involves examining your upper gastrointestinal tract with the help of an instrument called the endoscope. The endoscope is a tube which is thin and flexible and comes with its own video and light source. This allows the operator of the endoscope to view the insides of your gut, which includes the stomach, the duodenum and the esophagus.
Your doctor, with the help of an endoscopy, is able to evaluate your symptoms such as pain in your abdomen that is persistent in nature, vomiting, nausea, and problems swallowing. This test also helps detect ulcers and tumors in your gastrointestinal tract. When necessary, this test is used to collect biopsies as well. Instruments could also be passed by your doctor through the endoscope to treat abnormalities such as polyps and bleeding ulcers.
The procedure is quite simple. Your doctor will spray an anesthetic on your throat, and if need be, give you a sedative. You will be asked to lie on your side after which an endoscope will be passed through your mouth into your gastrointestinal tract. The endoscope in no way hampers your breathing and quite a few patients are known to have fallen asleep during the test.
After the test, your doctor will monitor you to ensure that most of the endoscopy side effects wear off. Chances are that you will feel some soreness in your throat for some time. There will also be a slightly bloated feeling soon after the procedure is done. This can be due to the air that may have entered your stomach during the procedure. In most cases, you would be able to get back to a normal diet once you leave the endoscopy area. You will know what your test results are on the same day, unless there is a biopsy result that is expected. This generally takes a number of days.
Complications during an endoscopy are extremely rare. There might be some bleeding when a polyp is removed. Other endoscopy side effects include some heart and lung disease complications or some kind of reaction to the sedatives that are used. Sometimes there might be some irritation of the vein where the doctor has injected the medication, resulting in a lump that may last for a couple of weeks. You can obtain relief from this problem by using heat packs or warm towels. Complications such as a perforation are extremely rare and uncommon.More articles from the Endoscopy Category