Endoscopy is the examination
of the gullet, stomach and upper part of intestine through a telescopic
tube which is passed through the mouth.
Why is it needed?
The examination allows the
doctor to see and if necessary take a small sample (biopsy). This can
be important in determining if there is an ulcer or other problem which
may be causing pain or indigestion. It can also help rule out
infections or cancer of the stomach.
It is important to inform
the hospital and/or doctor of any health problems, allergies or
reactions to drugs that you have that you know about. No food or drink
(including water) should be taken from midnight the night before the
procedure if it is in the morning or from 6AM if it is in the
afternoon. You should arrange for someone to both drive you to the
hospital and collect you from there after the endoscopy.
You may be given a local
anaesthetic spray or tablet to numb your throat. You will be given a
mild sedative to make you sleepy during the procedure. A mouthpiece is
usually placed between your teeth to keep the mouth slightly open. The
tube is flexible (like a narrow garden hose) and is threaded through
your mouth and down your throat into your stomach. Sometimes a small
sample of lining (biopsy) is taken for analysis in the laboratory.
Are there any
This is very a very safe
procedure. You may feel some soreness in the throat. Rarely you may
vomit a small amount of blood. Extremely rarely there may be damage to
gullet or stomach especially is there is a blockage - if this does occur
you will be kept in hospital.
What happens after
When you are fully awake you
will be allowed to go home (the same day). You should be driven home
and should not drive or operate any machinery for 24 hours after the
You will need to see
the doctor (or your own GP) at a later time to discuss the results of
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