How do you breath during endoscopy?

April 1, 2010

An upper endoscopy is a procedure in which a flexible tube is used to examine the insides of the upper gastrointestinal tract. The tube, known as an endoscope, has a lens and light source at its end and through this the inner lining of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum can be examined. An upper endoscopy can be used to detect abnormal growths, ulcers, bowel blockage, precancerous growths and inflammation. Other conditions such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, problems in swallowing, gastric reflux, sudden weight loss, anemia and bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract can also be studied further through an endoscopy. In some cases, an endoscopy can be used to extract pieces of food or other objects that become stuck in the gastrointestinal tract. Bleeding ulcers can also be treated through this process. Other instruments can also be inserted through the endoscope in order to obtain biopsy tissue which can then be examined further.

Before an endoscopy, the individual must stop eating or drinking for 4-8 hours. The doctor must be informed regarding any existing health conditions, allergies or intake of medicines as these may interfere with the sedatives that will be administered during the procedure. Just before the procedure the individual is given an anesthetic in the form of a spray or gargles. This numbs the throat and relaxes the gag reflex. A sedative is then administered intravenously to relax the individual. An endoscope is then inserted into the throat and passed into the stomach and duodenum. There is a camera attached to the scope which transfers the images to a video monitor. Air is then introduced into the scope to inflate and enlarge the stomach and duodenum so that there is better visibility. The endoscope will not interfere with your breathing, although you will be able to relax better if you take slow and deep breaths.

After the procedure, there may be mild discomfort and a little bit of bloating. There may also be soreness in the throat due to the passage of the scope. One must rest for the remainder of the day as the effects of the sedative may continue to persist. Regular diet and medication can be resumed soon after, unless the doctor advises you otherwise. In some cases, the results of a gastrointestinal endoscopy may be available immediately after the test. Once the effects of the sedative have worn off, the doctor will discuss the results with you.

Submitted by M H on April 1, 2010 at 03:49

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