An endoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure done through natural body openings, such as the mouth. Alternatively, an endoscope can be inserted into small incisions in the abdomen or knee. Healthcare providers use endoscopy to make a diagnosis or treat certain conditions. Unlike traditional surgery, endoscopy Houston has relatively fewer risks, delivers detailed images, and is quick to carry out. Read on to learn more about this procedure.

How to prepare for an endoscopy procedure

Endoscopic procedures require less preparation compared to other surgical procedures. Endoscopy is also done on an outpatient basis and usually takes one hour to complete. Your doctor will give you instructions on how to prepare for the procedure. For many types of endoscopy, one needs to fast for around 12 hours before the procedure. That means you should not eat or drink past midnight the night before the endoscopy. You may need to follow other specific instructions depending on the type of endoscopy you are having.

For example, if the procedure involves investigating the gut, you may need to take laxatives the night before to clear the system. Before the endoscopy, your healthcare provider will conduct an examination. It is important to inform your doctor about all your current medications and supplements.

Endoscopy procedure

The specifics of the procedure vary depending on the reason for the endoscopy. Below are three main reasons why your doctor may order an endoscopy.

  • Investigation. An endoscopic procedure can search for the cause of abdominal pain, vomiting, stomach ulcers, difficulty swallowing, breathing disorders, or gastrointestinal bleeding.
  • Confirmation of a diagnosis. For example, an endoscopy allows your doctor to perform a biopsy to confirm a cancer diagnosis or another illness.
  • Treatment. Endoscopy can be used to cauterize bleeding blood vessels or remove a polyp.

Generally, you will receive sedation and anesthesia to eliminate any discomfort. Endoscopic procedures typically happen when an individual is conscious. Your doctor will insert a long, thin tube through a natural opening like your mouth. Other times the doctor makes a small incision to insert the endoscope. The endoscope has a camera at its tip, capturing images reflected on a monitor.

The doctor used the images on the monitor to diagnose or treat a problem with specialized tools through the endoscope. Once the investigation, diagnosis, or treatment is complete, the doctor removes the tube and closes any incisions.

Recovery from an endoscopy

Generally, many people recover and heal faster after an endoscopic procedure. However, your recovery will depend on the type of procedure you had. If you had upper endoscopy, which allows your doctor to examine your gastrointestinal tract, you would need observation after the procedure. You will stay in the monitoring room for an hour as the sedative medication wears off.

You may need to avoid working or driving for the rest of the day because of the sedative effect of the medication. After upper endoscopy, you may experience some soreness, bloating, and a sore throat. Fortunately, these side effects usually resolve quickly.

For further questions about endoscopy, consult your physician at Vikram S. Jayanty M.