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Using the procedure known as gastrointestinal endoscopy, the doctor can view the inside lining of the digestive tract.

This examination will be performed using an instrument called endoscope, a tube that is very flexible and which has a small video camera at one end.

The camera is connected to a monitor for direct visualization. The endoscope not only that allows the diagnosis of disease, but it is also used to treat diseases.


1. Overview
2. Preparation for endoscopy
3. Risks
4. What you can expect during endoscopy
5. After the procedure

Preparation for endoscopy

For a complete examination, in safety conditions, the stomach should be empty. The patient should not eat or drink anything six hours before performing the procedure.

Before scheduling the procedure, patients should tell their doctor about the medicines they use, allergies that manifest and information about other potential diseases.

It is important for the doctor to know if the patient suffers of health problems such as heart or lungs disease in order to know that he must give special attention to these issues during the procedure.


1. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy – Rarely bleeding and perforation of the esophagus or stomach wall might occur. Other complications that can occur if the investigation are:
- Severe and irregular heartbeats
- Pulmonary aspiration – when certain materials, particles (food, foreign body) or liquid (gastric contents, blood, saliva) enters the throat into the trachea.
- Infections and intermittent fever
- Respiratory depression
- Central nervous system reactions due to sedation vagus nerve

2. Lower gastrointestinal endoscopy (colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, enteroscopy) – although less common, their possible complications include:
- Local pain
- Dehydration (caused by excessive use of enemas and laxatives for bowel preparation)
- Cardiac arrhythmias
- Bleeding and infection
- Perforation of the colon
- Gas explosion in the colon during polyp removal
- Respiratory depression (caused by excessive sedation of people with chronic lung disease).

What you can expect during the procedure

Before the procedure, the doctor will explain the patient how endoscopy goes, though there are alternative procedures or investigations that would be possible complications resulting from endoscopy.

Practices vary from one doctor to another, but the doctor will apply an anesthetic solution spray in the patient’s throat, or he will use a sedative and pain medications intravenously.

The patient will be lying on the left side and a flexible endoscope would be inserted through the mouth into the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The procedure will not interfere with breathing. Most patients experience minimal discomfort during the procedure.

After the procedure

If the patient was sedated he will be moved to a recovery area to wake up. Once sedation has stopped working is indicated that the patient be accompanied by someone, because it will not be allowed in these hours to drive around or drink alcohol at least one day and he may feel drowsy too. Home, the best would be allowed to rest throughout the day.



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