How uncomfortable is an upper endoscopy with sedation?

March 5, 2010

An endoscopy is a procedure where an endoscope, which is a scope designed to look inside the body, is inserted into the body for the diagnosis of an underlying condition. An endoscope can travel through various body cavities and provide a high resolution image to the person operating the scope. It is particularly popular while diagnosing problems related to the digestive system while looking at the intestines. It can also be used for entry from the mouth where the doctor may be able to look at the lining of the throat, the stomach and the upper part of the intestinal system. When one uses the term upper endoscopy, it refers to the procedure where the endoscope is inserted from the mouth to scope the upper regions of the digestive system, mainly the throat, stomach and intestine. It is used to diagnose a variety of conditions which include upper intestinal bleeding, heartburn and chronic reflux, difficulty in swallowing and other such issues.

Sedation is a procedure where a drug is administered to the patient either orally or intravenously. These drugs, called sedatives, are used on patients to facilitate medical procedures that can be painful for patients. They are also used in case the patient is anxious or in an agitated state of mind over the medical procedure. There is also a range of sedation that can be used by doctors which include mild doses to calm the patient down while keeping him/her conscious and also stronger doses which may result in the patient losing sensation, thus avoiding pain, or losing consciousness completely. This must be done in the presence of trained health professionals as over or under sedation can cause problems to the patient.

An endoscopy conducted under sedation should cause you no discomfort at all. As you will either be unconscious or semi-conscious, the pain will probably not be felt. If you do feel discomfort during the procedure and are conscious, you may inform your doctor who might increase the level of sedation to ease your pain. After the procedure is complete, the patient is brought out of sedation. In this situation, it is advised that if the patient is not admitted in hospital, he/she must have a companion to travel home with as mild after effects of sedation, such as drowsiness and lack of coordination last for a few hours after sedation. One of the only after effects of an upper endoscopy is a sore or itchy throat. This can be treated like a normal sore throat, by using normal cough medication and drinking hot clear liquids like herbal teas.

Submitted by M T on March 5, 2010 at 12:32

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