Is endoscopy dangerous? The incidence of complications is extremely low, generally less than 1 out of every thousand procedures in most studies. Potential complications can include adverse reaction to the sedative drug, bleeding, perforation of the digestive tract, or aspiration of stomach contests into the lungs. Most complications are mild and require no treatment. However, blood transfusion, hospitalization, or surgery are sometimes necessary. Death is extremely rare. Drs.Baker and Horowitz have performed thousands of endoscopies between them with a superb safety record. Although there can be no guarantees, the doctors will do everything possible to maximize your safety and comfort.
If an endoscopy is being performed on the lower digestive tract the patient may be prescribed laxatives or one or more enemas before the procedure so that the area of interest is clearly visible.
The patient may be required to stop taking, or reduce the dosage of, some medications, supplements, or herbs before the procedure. Blood thinners can increase the risk of bleeding as a complication of the procedure, so individuals taking blood thinners may be asked to stop for a few days before the procedure. The patient is given specific instructions for his or her case, usually when the endoscopy is scheduled.
Doctors can see a lot of the digestive tract using upper endoscopy or colonoscopy. But it’s harder for the 20 feet or so of small intestine to be seen this way, although enteroscopy (en-ter-AH-skuh-pee) can be used. Cancers in this area are rare, but tumors and other problems such as ulcers can develop here.
One way to look at this area is to use capsule endoscopy. To do this, a person swallows a capsule that contains a light source and a tiny camera. (It’s about the size of a large vitamin pill.) Like any other pill, the capsule goes through the stomach and into the small intestine. It travels through the small intestine, which usually takes about 8 hours, and takes thousands of pictures. These pictures are sent to a device worn around the person’s waist, while he or she goes on with normal daily activities. The pictures can then be downloaded onto a computer, where the doctor can look at them as a video. The capsule passes out of the body during a normal bowel movement and is flushed away.
This technique may help find the source of bleeding, pain, or other symptoms that may be coming from the small intestine. But it’s not useful for looking closely at the colon or other parts of the body.
About 30% of adults have occasional heartburn. Ten percent of adults experience heartburn daily. Approximately 25–50% of pregnant women have heartburn.
After Your Upper Endoscopy • You stay in a recovery room for 30 minutes to one hour. • Your nurse gives you instructions on how to take care of yourself at home. You will get a written copy to take with you. • Your driver (or medical transportation se rvice) needs to pick you up from the GI Lab one hour after your test. • The nurse can call your driver and tell t hem where and what time to pick you up . • Your nurse will call you a day or two afte r your test to a sk how you are.
At the beginning of the exam, your throat may be sprayed with a local anesthetic to numb the area, or you may be given an anesthetic medication to gargle. This will help prevent gagging. The doctor may also insert a mouthpiece to hold your mouth open during the exam.
You will lie on your side or on your back on an examining table. As the doctor inserts the endoscope, you will feel pressure through your esophagus. You will be able to breathe on your own throughout the exam. Taking slow, deep breaths through your nose will help you relax. Many patients sleep through the procedure.
The endoscope inflates your stomach by blowing air into it; this provides the doctor a better view of the stomach lining. If the doctor finds an abnormality, he or she may remove a tissue sample for examination (a biopsy). This usually does not cause pain. If it causes bleeding, the doctor can stop the bleeding using tools passed through the endoscope.
When the examination is completed, the endoscope will be slowly removed from your body, and you will go to a recovery room.
Generally, the pain medicine and sedative you receive during the endoscopy should limit the amount of discomfort you feel during the procedure. Afterward, your throat may feel sore and you may have bloating or cramping because of the air blown into your stomach. You may also feel discomfort from lying still for an extended period of time.
Before Your Upper Endoscopy • DO NOT eat or drink anything after midnight (before the test) unless your doctor tells you otherwise. For your comfort , the doctor gives you medicine before your test that makes you sleepy. You cannot drive or work with machinery until the day after your test. • For your safety, make sure someone can drive you home after your test. You may also arrange for medical transportation for a cost. Ask the staff in your doctor’s office or check the phone book for more information about this service.
The following conditions and illnesses are most commonly investigated or diagnosed with an endoscopy:
Irritable bowel syndrome
Urinary tract infections
This is variable from patient to patient, but generally the exam takes 10- 15 minutes.
During endoscopy, a small camera or viewer attached to the end of a thin, usually flexible tube, is passed into the individual. This device is called an endoscope. The endoscope is usually introduced into the patient through the mouth, rectum, ureter, or a small incision...
Endoscopes were first developed to look at parts of the body that couldn’t be seen any other way. This is still a common reason to use them, but endoscopy now has many other uses too. This section will focus on its role in the prevention, early detection, diagnosis, staging, and treatment of cancer.
Endoscopy was first described by Hippocrates in Greece (460-375 BC). He was the first to make reference to a rectal speculum. At the same time the first simple speculum for gynecological endoscopy has emerged.