An endoscopy is a medically invasive procedure that enables specialists to view your digestive system and organs through an endoscope. This type of procedure is done to investigate symptoms, render diagnoses, and deliver treatments. If your doctor has recommended you get an endoscopy, it’s essential to prepare yourself for the procedure.
Here are several factors you need to know before getting an endoscopy.
1. What Is An Endoscopy?
A specialist performs an endoscopy using a tube-like instrument with a light and small camera. It’s used to make a diagnosis and treat certain conditions. The camera monitors the body’s anatomy to look for any abnormalities, such as stomach ulcers or hernias. Endoscopy has been beneficial to the medical industry because it allows doctors to treat patients without extensive testing procedures or invasive surgeries.
Some most common types of endoscopies include:
- Bronchoscopy – To look at the airways by introducing the endoscope into the throat.
- Colonoscopy – To look at the large bowel, introduced through the anus.
- Hysteroscopy – To look at the uterus, introduced vaginally.
2. Who May Perform An Endoscopy?
Several types of doctors can perform an endoscopy. For example, a gastroenterologist may perform a colonoscopy of the colon or an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy of the esophagus and stomach.
Nurses work alongside the doctors to help carry out the procedure. However, an endoscopy technician may assist the physician and nurses by gathering patient health information, preparing and sterilizing equipment, and providing additional support.
3. Endoscopy Has Risks
Endoscopy is a low-risk procedure, but some risks do exist. These risks may include pain, internal bleeding, incisions, or internal infection. You also have the possibility of tearing tissue while the endoscope is working its way through your body. Other risks include reactions to anesthetics and other medications.
It’s crucial to talk with your doctor about the risks. That way, you know about them ahead of time.
4. Prepare For The Endoscopy
An endoscopy doesn’t require as much preparation as most other surgical procedures. However, there are certain medications you’ll need to stop taking. You’ll also need to avoid eating or drinking after midnight before the day of the procedure.
Depending on the endoscopy you’re having, your doctor will give you the specific steps to ensure you prepare correctly. For instance, you may need to make a short-term diet change and take a laxative before receiving a colonoscopy.
5. What Happens During The Procedure
During an endoscopy, you may be asleep for the procedure. In that case, the doctor may give you pain medication, a sedative, and anesthesia to help with comfort.
Once they prepare you, the doctor will insert the tube through the body’s opening or a small incision and guide it to the destination. Then, your doctor can make a diagnosis based on the images he can view on the monitor’s screen. Or, he may treat the problem with specialized tools through the endoscope.
Once the doctor finishes the procedure, he will remove the tube and close up any incisions.
6. How Long It Takes To Recover From An Endoscopy
Patients tend to recover and heal quickly after an endoscopic procedure. There may be some discomfort once the process is over, but you’ll mostly need time to recover from the medications they’ve given you.
Some people either go home the same day or wait until the next. Either way, it’s wise to arrange for someone to drive you home afterward since it isn’t safe to go on your own with a narcotic and sedative in your system.
Knowing About The Procedure
Now that you understand the most important things you need to know about endoscopy, you can talk with your doctor about further information. Before your endoscopy, make sure you ask questions about the procedure, your recovery, and the next steps. An endoscopy may be invasive, but it’s important that you prepare for the process as best as you can.