Endoscopy refers to a procedure where you look into a person’s body using an instrument called the endoscope. Endoscopy not only provides an image for visual inspection but also enables you to take biopsies and retrieve foreign objects. Endoscopy is acquiring great importance and is preferred by many as it is a relatively painless procedure usually associated with just some mild discomfort. Patients with health insurance will have all or most of their endoscopy costs covered as the average cost for an endoscopy in New York may be around $2000 at a hospital but on the other hand a physician may charge only $700. In cases where a tissue sample is taken and sent to a pathology lab, the overall cost can increase by $200 to $800 depending on the tests to be done. It is however hard to estimate the costs with any degree of accuracy as this could vary depending on the progress of the Endoscopy procedure and outcome. If you are without insurance it is important that you speak to your doctor about each and every cost that you would have to incur for the procedure.
The reasons for performing an endoscopy are varied and your doctor may recommend it in case you have an intestinal problem like bleeding or pain, throat problems like difficulty in swallowing or a change in bowel habits. The doctor uses the endoscope to carefully observe any problems that may require evaluation, diagnosis or treatment.
First of all, inform your doctor about any medications that you are on, as you may be asked to reduce the dosage or simply skip it on the day of performing the endoscopy. In case you have any allergies to certain drugs or substances, make sure you disclose the information to the doctor. You will be asked not to consume any food the night before your endoscopy as this could cause some obstruction preventing or restricting a clear view during the endoscopy.
The endoscopy is performed by inserting an endoscope, with the entry point being either via the throat or through the anus. The endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and light at its end. Your doctor will spray your throat or ask you to gargle with a local anesthetic to help you feel comfortable and to ensure that your throat is numb and doesn’t feel much pain. Also, a supportive mouthpiece will be placed to enable your mouth to be kept open throughout the procedure and once you are fully prepared the doctor will gently maneuver the endoscope into position.