Gastroenterology

Endoscopy

Description

Endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure performed by a doctor with the help of an endoscope, a thin, light and flexible tube attached to a camera at the front, to view and operate the insides of the person’s body and locate issues without making a large incision. This procedure is really effective if your doctor suspects an organ or specific area inside your body to be damaged, affected or cancerous. With an endoscope along with few tiny tools such as tongs and scissors, the doctor can easily find and remove a small part of the area for biopsy.

Since endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure, it doesn’t require you to stay in the hospital. You can leave for home once it is done. You will be asked not to eat or drink post-midnight before the treatment. You will be placed under local or general anesthesia to make you feel comfortable and the doctor will enter into the area of the body, which needs to be examined through the throat, urethra or anus. In some cases, making a small incision is required from where the doctor will insert the endoscope and locate the defect. Once found, he/she will cut a small part of the defected area and remove it for further examination and confirmation of the disease. The incision is then closed with stitches. The whole procedure lasts from 15 to 60 minutes, depending on the area of examination.

A new form of endoscopy is wireless capsule endoscopy, where the patient is required to swallow a capsule that sends images of the insides of your stomach and digestive system, which naturally leaves the body when the patient goes to the toilet. It is used to confirm internal bleeding when the exact reason or issue is not known.

Complications

Even though the procedure does not involve much pain and quite lower risk of infection and bleeding, there are still few complications that may arise if the procedure does not go well. These are:

  • Damage to the organs

  • Perforation

  • Chest pain

  • Fever

  • Persistent pain in the area

  • Swelling and redness in the operated area

  • Feeling bloated

  • Mild cramping

  • Shortness of breath

  • Blood in the urine

Care

Once the operation is finished, you will need to rest for an hour or so until the effects of the anesthesia are completely worn off.

The doctor and the health care team will instruct you on how take care of the wound and what measures to take when you experience any of the above complications.

The procedure is used to detect exact issues in your internal body, hence once it is over, you will be required to visit the hospital for the results.

You can return to your daily activities within a week.