Digestive problems can make life uncomfortable, but the right diagnosis and treatment can bring great relief. So, if you are experiencing symptoms that may be related to a gastrointestinal disorder, having an endoscopy is an important step in determining how to improve your symptoms—and your overall health.
The team at Midtown Surgical & Skin Institute provides a variety of endoscopic procedures and related diagnostic tests to identify GI tract issues and help you get the care you need.
An endoscopy is a medical procedure that allows your doctor to see the inside of your gastrointestinal tract and assess the possible causes of your symptoms. The test is performed with an endoscope—a long, flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it.
Once the tube is inserted into the patient’s body, the camera allows live footage of the GI tract to be seen on a TV screen. This allows the doctor to identify issues such as bleeding, inflamed, or torn tissues, and other signs of illness that can then be properly addressed through medicine, surgery, or other treatment plans as appropriate.
There are different types of endoscopic procedures that may be performed, depending on the symptoms that your doctor needs to assess.
Your doctor is likely to recommend an endoscopy to help determine the causes of gastrointestinal symptoms such as:
An endoscopy may be performed to assess these symptoms at any age. It is especially common for endoscopic procedures to be given to patients over 45 years of age so that any cancerous growths are able to be identified and treated early.
In addition to assessing the causes of your symptoms, an endoscopy also provides your doctor with the opportunity to treat the disease process at the time of the procedure. Such as bleeding ulcers in the GI tract or removing polyps from the colon. During an ERCP, it may be possible to remove gallstones that have moved from the gallbladder into the bile duct.
Your doctor will give you specific instructions. But as a general rule, an upper endoscopy requires fasting of 6-8 hours to clear out the upper GI tract. A colonoscopy requires laxatives be taken the day before the procedure, along with fasting, to clear out the colon.
A driver to drive you to the procedure and home. Wear comfortable clothes that are easy to remove and put back on.
Endoscopic procedures generally take about 30 minutes to perform.
The light sedative that you will be given during the procedure begins to wear off rather quickly. You will remain at the surgery center for about an hour after the endoscopy is completed, so the medical team can monitor you as you awaken from the sedative.
The full effects of the sedative can take several hours to wear off, so you will not be able to drive yourself anywhere until the following day. You should plan to obtain a ride to and from the surgery center on the day of your endoscopy.
Your doctor will give you specific instructions about what medications you should take, and which you should avoid. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you take and ask about them when discussing your procedure. If you are on blood thinners, you will need to stop taking them a certain number of days before the endoscopy to reduce your risk of bleeding on the day of your procedure.
During the procedure, you will be given a sedative that produces a relaxed, light sleep. (This is different from a general anesthetic.)
You may experience some discomfort after your endoscopy, including bloating, gas, cramping, and sore throat. These symptoms will fade over time. Once you get home, you should plan to rest for the remainder of the day. If symptoms are persistent or have you concerned in any way, you may wish to contact the doctor’s office.
Take control of your health and your life by choosing medical providers who are caring and concerned, open and honest. Set up a consultation visit today to see firsthand the compassionate care you will receive from our skilled and friendly team.