Information On Endoscopy Complications

Submitted by Medical Health Test Team on October 16, 2012

The term endoscopy literally means to look inside. It is a diagnostic procedure that is conducted in order to get an image of a particular part of the body which can help with diagnosing a condition or simply to judge the health of that part of the body. It is a procedure that uses an endoscope which is inserted into the body for the examination. The scope may be rigid or flexible and is usually inserted through an existing opening in the body. Endoscopy procedures for the respiratory tract and lungs are conducted by using the mouth as an entry point whereas the intestines and lower digestive system are viewed using the anus as an entry point. The endoscope is equipped with a light so that the area can be seen properly and may also be equipped with a second tube that allows surgical instruments to be guided in. This is used commonly when an area is being viewed and a biopsy sample is required.

Endoscopy procedures can be painful. When an endoscope is being inserted into an area that is constricted like the throat or the colon, it is not comfortable. For this reason, some patients are sedated in the area where the scope is being used. Complete sedation is often avoided because a person should be conscious to any major pain that might occur as a result of the procedure. Doctors prefer to avoid sedation as much as possible.

An endoscopy is an invasive procedure and like all other medical procedures has some risks associated with it. The main risk is of perforation that might be caused by the scope itself. This can be caused if the scope is too wide or if the patient is not completely cooperative. It can also be caused if the condition that has warranted the endoscopy procedure has caused weakening of the tissue in the area. If there is a tumor that has weakened the lining of the colon, for example, an endoscopy procedure might cause a tear in the lining. This perforation can be deadly if it is too large and can cause toxins to leak into the body. Another risk that may occur is that of excessive sedation. This could lead to choking when using an endoscope in the throat, for example. One should always consult one's doctor prior to an endoscopy procedure so that you understand the risks involved.

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