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If you are suffering from a gastrointestinal medical condition (related to your oesophagus, stomach, or colon) that requires diagnosis and or treatment, you may be scheduled for an endoscopy.
An endoscopy can also be used to diagnose diseases of the ear, nose, throat, heart, urinary tract, joints, and abdomen.
Endoscopy can be a nonsurgical or a minimally invasive surgical procedure that allows the doctor to examine, remove tissues or treat the body areas using an endoscope. The endoscope is a flexible tube with a powerful light and camera attached to it. The endoscope is inserted into the body through small incisions or natural body openings and allows your doctor to view pictures of your digestive tract on a display monitor.
If you are taking medications, you may be asked to stop. You will be asked to stop taking blood-thinning medicines a few days before the surgery, as these increase the chances of bleeding.
You should inform your doctor if you have any medication allergies or have had any adverse reactions to medications.
You should inform your doctor if you are pregnant or have any other medical condition so that special precautions can be taken.
You may need to fast for 4 to 8 hours before the procedure to ensure your stomach is empty, if you are having an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy.
For a colonoscopy:
You will be asked to change your diet a few days before the procedure. Changes will include elimination of fibre and foods with small seeds.
You may be given a laxative to take the night before coming in for the procedure. You may also be asked to drink a cleansing solution to clean out your bowel.
You may be given an enema 2 to 3 hours before the procedure.
You may undergo a rectal examination to help the doctor look for any bleeding or abnormal growths.
You may receive anaesthesia and/ or a sedative depending on the type of endoscopy. Anaesthesia blocks the awareness of pain. A sedative relaxes you. The sedative may make you feel lethargic and slow after the procedure and usually takes 24 hours to wear off.
The effects of sedatives may be manipulated by other medications. To avoid such issues, please inform your doctor about any other medications you are taking.
Throughout the procedure, our health care team will monitor your temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate.
Your doctor will review and, in some cases, record the images from the endoscope. He or she will also perform any procedures, such as collecting tissue for testing.
After the endoscopy, you will be taken to rest in a recovery area.
You may experience some mild side effects depending on the type of endoscopy. These can include but are not limited to, a sore, dry throat or bloating and gas.
Complications from an endoscopy are uncommon, but they can happen. They can include a hole or tear in the area being examined, bleeding, and infection.
Talk with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:
Shortness of breath
Severe abdominal pain or other unusual symptoms
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