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What happens during an endoscopy?

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

An endoscopy procedure is where a flexible tube with a video camera is passed through the oesophagus, stomach and the first part of the small bowel; it helps to identify where biopsies or small procedures may need to be done.

Prior to an endoscopy, patients are sedated, this is more for comfort rather than to mask any pain. Patients also need to be fasted for at least 6 hours before their endoscopy.

This test is performed to investigate symptoms such as bleeding, pain, nausea and difficulty swallowing. Other specialised techniques may be performed during the procedure. Biopsies are samples of tissue which may be performed for many reasons including looking for infection, testing that the small bowel is functioning well and diagnosing tissues which don’t look normal, including conditions such as coeliac disease and pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions.

An endoscopy procedure is fairly quick and recovery time is also quite short. During the procedure (once you have been sedated) you will have to wear a mouth piece and you will have to lie on your side. These two steps are to guarantee ease of use of the endoscopy, ensuring a clear path for the instrument, once the procedure has been completed you will be in recovery for roughly an hour.

If you would like to know more about our Gastroenterologist’s please see our Doctor page.