What is the endoscopy (camera down the throat) procedure like?

March 24, 2010

An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is a medical procedure that is known to be a very beneficial when it comes to diagnosing a number of conditions that affect the throat. The procedure involves the use of a light flexible tube called the endoscope. The endoscope is a small tube that has a light and a camera at the end that is inserted into the patient’s body. This camera and light helps to relay images to a connected screen allowing the doctor to view a visual representation of the targeted part of the body. The images are recorded to allow the doctor to review the footage at a later time in case he or she feels the need to do so. The endoscopy can also be used to identify a number of conditions that affect the digestive tract but that version of the procedure is known as a colonoscopy. For this kind of a procedure the device is inserted into the patient’s body through the anus. The Upper GI version of the endoscopy is helpful when it comes to dealing with conditions like abdominal pain, gastric reflux syndrome, unexplained weight loss, nausea, vomiting, anemia and bleeding in the upper GI tract amongst others.

When getting ready to undergo an endoscopy, it is important that the patient prepare him or herself properly in order to allow the procedure to go as intended. Some of the preparatory steps include avoiding any food or liquid intake as much as 4 to 8 hours prior to the procedure. Furthermore, it is also essential that the patient avoids smoking as well as chewing on gum. If the patient is suffering from any medical condition, however irrelevant and insignificant it may seem, it needs to be informed to the presiding doctor. This would help the medical team to be prepared and avoid any complications that could take place. Some commonly used medication that is known to interfere with the procedure includes blood thinners, diabetes medication, dietary supplements and blood pressure medication.

During an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, the patient will initially be administered a local, liquid anesthetic to help numb the throat and calms gag reflex. A sedative will also be administered through an intravenous needle placed in the arm to allow the patient to remain calm and relaxed. The endoscope is then slowly and steadily fed down the esophagus and into the stomach while the mounted camera captures the images of the internal structure and displays it on the aforementioned screen. Once the procedure is completed, the patient will be allowed to rest for a while till the effect of the sedative and anesthesia dies down. The person however would be restricted from driving for a period of about 24 to 48 hours post the end of the procedure.

Submitted by M T on March 24, 2010 at 11:48

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