What is an Endoscopy?
An upper endoscopy, also known as an EGD or endoscopy, is a procedure that allows your GI Doctor in Plano, TX to directly examine the upper part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.
Why would I need an Endoscopy?
There are many reasons that endoscopies are performed, a few of the most common reasons include:
- Abdominal pain
- Heart Burn (also called reflux or GERD)
- Trouble swallowing or food getting ‘hung up’ when eating
- GI bleeding (both throwing up blood and dark stools)
- Persistent nausea and/or vomiting
- Non heart related chest pain
What do I need to prepare for an Endoscopy?
Our office will give specific instructions regarding how to prepare for an endoscopy examination before the procedure. These instructions are meant to optimize the experience for the doctor and the patient. Do not hesitate to call our office or the endoscopy center if there are any questions at (972) 867-0019.
You will be instructed to avoid eating any solids for up to 8 hours before the procedure and may drink clear liquids up to 4 hours prior to the procedure. This is to ensure that your stomach will be empty to allow your Dallas endoscopist to visualize the entire area and to prevent the possibility of food contents being vomited into the lungs while you are sedated.
Can I take my medicines?
You can take most prescription and nonprescription medicines up to the day of the endosscopy. Our office will review your medication list and tell you what medicines to stop. Some medications increase the risk of bleeding, like Coumadinâ (warfarin) and Plavixâ (clopidogrel).
Will I be able to drive home?
For the procedure, you will be given a fast acting sedative, which will put you asleep during the process. Although you will wake up quickly, the sedative medicines cause temporary changes in reflexes and judgment so you will need someone to take you home after your endoscopy procedure.
What happens the day of the procedure?
Before the exam, our staff will review the test including possible complications and will ask you to sign a consent form. The nurse will start an IV in your hand and your blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored during the endoscopy.
You will then be given fluid and medicines through the IV, which will allow you to fall asleep.
How is the Endoscopy performed?
Once you are in the endoscopy suite, a fast acting sedative will be given through the IV and you will lie on your left side and a plastic mouth guard will be placed between your teeth to prevent damage to your teeth and scope. Once you are asleep, the endoscope (a flexible lighted tube that is smaller than a finger) will be passed through the mouth into the esophagus. Most people have no difficulty swallowing the endoscope as a result of the sedation and it does not interfere with breathing. During the exam, we may take tissue samples called biopsies (which are not painful) or we can perform other treatments such as dilation, or removal of polyps.
What happens after the Endoscopy?
Although many people worry about being uncomfortable during an endoscopy, most people tolerate it very well and feel fine afterward. After the endoscopy, you will be observed in a recovery area until the effects of the sedative medication wear off. You may also feel slightly groggy from the sedation medications, and we encourage everyone to take it easy and relax the rest of the day. You should not return to work or drive the rest of the day. Most people eat normally after the exam, and our office will instruct you on when to restart any blood thinning medications. The results of the endoscopy will be discussed as soon as it is over. Any tissue samples will be sent to our pathologists and this will take 7 – 10 days to get those results.
What are the possible complications?
Upper endoscopy is one of the safest gastrointestinal procedures and complications are very uncommon. A few of the potential complications are below:
- Bleeding, most commonly stops on its own and is minor
- Reaction to the sedative medication
- Aspiration (inhaling) of food or liquids into the lung