An endoscopy of the stomach, also known as a gastroscopy, is a test where a doctor takes a tissue sample from the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract for testing and examination. The tissue may be taken from any of the organs that form the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract. These organs are the stomach, esophagus, and the duodenum. To look inside your stomach, a tool known as an endoscope is used. The endoscope is a thin, flexible and coiled tool which has a small telescope, light, and a small camera fixed at one end.
The endoscope is passed into the mouth and from there, it is passed into the esophagus and finally into the stomach. With the help of the light and the telescope, the stomach can be seen from the inside. The video camera records everything for future examination. Within the endoscope, there is also a thin channel, through which other objects can be passed. When a sample is to be collected, a small clasp shaped tool is passed through the endoscope, into the stomach. The clasp collects tissue samples for pathological tests.
The procedure of endoscopy is a relatively quick one. For the procedure, you may be given a local anesthetic that numbs the back of your throat. Sometimes, depending on the patient's choice, a mild sedative may also be administered.
Though usually there aren't many problems reported in a gastroscopy (endoscopy of the stomach), there may be an occasional complaint. The most common side effects of a gastroscopy are mild pain and soreness in the throat. If you have been given a sedative, it may make you feel drowsy for the rest of the day. There is a slight chance of developing pneumonia or an infection in the chest after the gastroscopy.
It is on rare occasions that a gastroscopy procedure may cause damage to the gut. If the endoscope is not handled carefully, or the person handling it is not trained properly, there is a chance that there may be bleeding or perforation of the gut lining. If you have been feeling pain after about only 48 hours of the procedure, it is possible that you may have got hurt during the procedure. Call a doctor and get yourself examined immediately.
If you are experiencing other symptoms like abdominal pain, fever, blood in your vomit or difficulty in breathing, there is a possibility of a severe damage. You should go to a doctor without delay.
Submitted by M T on February 25, 2010 at 02:18