An endoscopy refers to examining the interior surfaces of the organs through a tube known as the endoscope that is inserted in your body. This tube comes in varying sizes and lengths and has a tiny camera and light attached at its tips which not only provides an image for visual inspection but also enables in taking biopsies and retrieving foreign objects. This procedure is preferred by many as it is considered to be relatively painless and is maximum associated with moderate discomfort. The reasons for performing an endoscopy are many but it is primarily done to diagnose problems in the upper gastrointestinal tract. You might be asked not to eat or drink for several hours before undergoing endoscopy and it is important that you inform your doctor about all the medications that you are on and if you are suffering from allergies from certain medicines or substances. You will be given local anesthesia to numb your throat and while you lie down on your left hand side, the endoscope is put in your mouth. The entire procedure barely takes a few minutes.
Once the endoscopy procedure is done, you will be kept in a recovery room for about 30 minutes for observation and occasionally are left with a mild sore throat or a feeling of distention from the insufflated air that was used during the procedure. Both these problems, however, are mild and fleeting. In the meantime, the physician who performed the endoscopy sends the test results to your primary physician whom you have been consulting all this while and he discusses the test results with you.
Once you’re fully recovered, you will be instructed when to resume back to your normal diet which generally is in a few hours and you can go back home the very same day. It is advised that you have a responsible person with you who will drive you back as it is not recommended you drive on your own or handle any machinery for the remainder of the day because of the use of sedation. You can thus, return to your normal activity within a day’s time or a maximum of 2 days. However, in case of severe abdominal pain, continuous cough, fever, chest pain, nausea or vomiting within 72 hours of performing the endoscopy, it is suggested that you call your doctor at once. Complications are rare in an endoscopy but the risks could include an infection, punctured organs or over sedation.
Submitted by M T on February 16, 2010 at 05:27