Will I Be Ok after Endoscopy?

April 14, 2010

An Endoscopy is a procedure that one undergoes when a doctor wants to examine the insides of the patient’s body. This is done using an endoscope which may be a rigid or flexible tube with a small TV camera at the end. This TV camera is connected to a screen that shows the images on a color TV or directly to an eyepiece. An Endoscopy is also known as a colonoscopy (where the doctors look for ulcers, abnormal growths, internal bleeding or examine the inflamed lining of the intestine) or an Enteroscopy where the doctors examine the small bowel.

Endoscopies are carried out on an empty stomach. You should not eat or drink for at least 6 hours before the examination. Stop taking medication like Aspirin or ulcer related medicine before the test, as this could affect the test results. Do inform your doctor of any medication you are on or of any allergies or reactions you have had in previous endoscopies. This will enable the doctor to perform the Endoscopy accordingly. Antibiotics may be given if required before the exam. You will be given a sedative before the examination starts. Most doctors spray the throat with a numbing agent so as to prevent pain. A plastic mouth guard will be put on to protect your teeth and the endoscope. The tube will then be put into your throat and you will have to swallow as it goes down. The entire procedure lasts about 30 minutes and some people often sleep thorough the examination. This is because of the effect of the sedative. You will be allowed to leave once the sedative wears off. The availability of results depends on the reason for the Endoscopy. You may get them immediately or might have to wait a little longer if a tissue sample was taken from you.

An upper Endoscopy is carried out to determine if there are problems with the stomach, esophagus and duodenum. It also helps in the investigation and subsequent diagnosis of problems like intestinal bleeding, difficulty in swallowing, upper abdominal pain and vomiting or nausea. During the Endoscopy, the doctor can also remove any polyps or any foreign object that is stuck in the digestive tract. A biopsy of a tissue can be carried out during the procedure as well.

Most people are usually ok after an Endoscopy. However, there are a few risks involved. These include severe irregular heartbeat, infections with fever, local pain or punctures of esophagus or stomach walls. If you experience abdominal pain, shortness of breath, high fever, blood in your stool contact your doctor immediately as these are symptoms of complications after the procedure.

Submitted by M H on April 14, 2010 at 12:30

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