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Doctor insights on: Endoscopy

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Dr. Charles Cattano
2,482 Doctors shared insights

Endoscopy (Overview)

Endoscopy broadly refers to the direct visualization of the intestinal tract by way of a flexible, fiberoptic scope. Generally, the term is used to describe evaluation of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (upper endoscopy), or the rectum and colon (colonoscopy).


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What is endoscopy?

What is endoscopy?

Scoping you out!: Endoscopy is a general term meaning inserting a lighted scope into you somewhere, usually further specified by a prefix like colonoscopy, ureteroscopy, laryngoscopy which basically says where it goes. Often the docor can not only look inside but also biopsy (take tissue) and do other tests while in there--may require sedation depending on how far in they go!

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Dr. Charles Cattano
2,482 Doctors shared insights

Endoscopy (Overview)

Endoscopy broadly refers to the direct visualization of the intestinal tract by way of a flexible, fiberoptic scope. Generally, the term is used to describe evaluation of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (upper endoscopy), or the rectum and colon (colonoscopy).


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Why do an endoscopy?

Why do an endoscopy?

Many reasons!: Everyone should have a colonoscopy, which is one type of endoscopy, at age 50 (sooner if there is a family history suggesting higher risk for colon cancer). Other types of endoscopy can look at different parts of the body, such as the esophagus, stomach, bile ducts, vocal cords, airways, bladder and ureters. These procedures are done if symptoms or other tests suggest a need for evaluation.

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Can I eat the day of endoscopy?

Can I eat the day of endoscopy?

Afterward: You may eat after you have recovered from sedation. I would avoid alcohol and spicy or acidic foods the first 24 hours.

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Can I eat before the endoscopy?

Can I eat before the endoscopy?

No: The purpose of an endoscopy is th view the stomach and first part of the small intestine. Dangerous to give IV sedation to someone who has eaten for fear of aspiration!

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What are the steps of an endoscopy?

Many: Step one is informed consent where risks, benefits and alternatives are discussed. Next is conscious sedation where an IV is placed and medication is given until you are comfortable. Once you are resting comfortably, the procedure is performed. Last is recovery where you wake up and review procedure findings with your doctor. Someone must then drive you home because of the meds received.

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How safe is an endoscopy procedure?

Very: Very safe procedure done thousands of times everyday.

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What can I expect from an endoscopy?

Endoscopy: Either upper endoscopy or colonoscopy are done under IV sedation. Once you are sedated, the scope is passed into the intended area. It usually lasts 15-20 minutes. The sedation is reversed and you awaken in recovery. Someone drives you home and you can eat.

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Can you explain what an endoscopy is?

Can you explain what an endoscopy is?

Scoping you out!: Endoscopy is a general term meaning inserting a lighted scope into you somewhere, usually further specified by a prefix like colonoscopy, ureteroscopy, laryngoscopy which basically says where it goes. Often the docor can not only look inside but also biopsy (take tissue) and do other tests while in there--may require sedation depending on how far in they go!

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What is it like to have an endoscopy?

What is it like to have an endoscopy?

Endoscopy: I had one done once with a teaching endoscope. Normally you will be given medication that will relax you (and possibly sedate you) along with anesthetic sprayed on the back of the throat. In my case no med was used except anesthetic spray. I gagged a little bit but found it fascinating to look at my own stomach through the scope. It really wasn't bad.

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How safe is upper & lower endoscopy?

Very safe: It is a very safe procedure, however it does have risks as it is an invasive procedure. Risks are.

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Where do I go to get an endoscopy done?

Gastroenterologist: The majority of people go to gastroenterologists to have endoscopies done. If you live in a rural area, sometimes you can find a primary care doctor who performs these procedures. The most important thing is to make sure whoever does it is well-trained and does many of these procedures every day.

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Could an endoscopy detect that I smoke?

Could an endoscopy detect that I smoke?

No: Endoscopy is meant to look at the anatomy of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (or the colon, using a different kind of scope). Smoking may cause changes in the mucosal lining, including inflammation (gastritis, duodenitis, esophagitis) but these aren't specific to smoking. Smoking is 'detected' by history, smell of tobacco smoke on patients, and sometimes urine cotinine (nicotine's metabolite).

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How to understand my endoscopy results?

How to understand my endoscopy results?

Ask your doc: Your doctor should be able to explain everything. If you have a particular question about a specific finding on your endoscopy, you can ask here

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How does will an endoscopy procedure work?

Upper/lower?: Upper=stomach endoscopy, usually no prep except not eating/drinking x 4 hrs, then sedation via iv, and doc puts scope through mouth and throat into stomach, looks and biopsies if needed. Lower=colonoscopy, prep by flushing system with strong prep laxatives, then sedation via iv, and scope enters via anus and looks at 5 feet of colon, biopsies etc.

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What happens during an endoscopy procedure?

What happens during an endoscopy procedure?

Endoscopy: You are put under light anesthesia, doctor looks thru scope into your stomach and GI tract, may take samples for analysis and biopsy.

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How could death during an endoscopy happen?

How could death during an endoscopy happen?

Very unlikely: But could happen with anesthesia related issues, (respiratory or cardiac) usually in a patient with underlying co morbid conditions, or as a result from complications associated with a colonic perforation or splenic tear, but again death from an elective endoscopy would be very very unusual.

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How long until I can drive again after endoscopy?

Usually its: 24 hrs but it also depends on the type of sedation you had. Some meds take a longer time ro get out of the system as others. Your endoscopy ctr will be able to give you that info.

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How common is it for someone to need an endoscopy?

How common is it for someone to need an endoscopy?

Depends: In asia, every patient over the age of 40 routinely undergoes endoscopy due to the high incidence of stomach cancer. In the United States where the stomach cancer is much less common, patients only do endoscopy if they have symptoms like acid reflux, weight loss, gastrointestinal bleeding, food getting caught or a strong family history of stomach cancer..

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Do you have to be awake when you get an endoscopy?

Nasal endoscopy: No, you don't have to be awake, but unless some other procedure is being considered, almost no doctors would put you to sleep to do a nasal endoscopy unless your reaction on a first attempt was so severe that they didn't want to try that again. It's an easy, short procedure. Most people tolerate it fine.