Direct visualization of the digestive tract with lighted instruments is referred to as gastrointestinal endoscopy. Your physician has advised you of your need to have this type of examination. The following information is presented to help you understand the reasons for, & possible risks of these procedures.
ESOPHAGOGASTRODUODENOSCOPY (EGD): Also called an Upper Endoscopy is a procedure that allows the physician to look at the inside of the esophagus, stomach, and the duodenum (small intestine). You will be given a sedative, and a local anesthetic may be sprayed into your mouth to suppress the gag reflex when the endoscope is inserted. A mouth guard will be inserted to protect your teeth as well as the endoscope. Dentures must be removed. The procedure involves swallowing a thin, flexible, lighted tube. The endoscope allows the physician to view the inside of this area of the body, as well as to insert instruments through the scope. Biopsies, brushings, and dilatation of strictures may be necessary while you are asleep.
FLEXIBLE SIGMOIDOSCOPY: Sigmoidoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that allows the physician to look at the inside of the lower portion of the large intestine. It is helpful in identifying the causes of diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, abnormal growths, and bleeding. A short, flexible, lighted scope is inserted into the intestine through the rectum. Next, the patient will feel some pressure as air is gently introduced through the scope to expand the colon and help the doctor see well. The doctor then moves the scope as far as needed to examine the lower colon. As the scope is slowly removed, the lining of the bowel is carefully examined. A hollow channel in the center of the scope allows for the passage of forceps for taking a biopsy if needed.
COLONOSCOPY: Colonoscopy is a procedure that allows the physician to view the entire length of the large intestine, and can often help identify abnormal growths, inflamed tissue, ulcers, and bleeding. It involves inserting a flexible lighted tube, in through the rectum up into the colon. The colonoscope allows the physician to see the lining of the colon, take photographs, as well as treat some problems that are discovered and remove tissue for further examination.
HEMORRHOID BANDING: Elastic bands are applied to hemorrhoids to control bleeding.
The following are the risks of these procedures:
- Injury to the lining of the digestive tract by the instrument which may result in perforation (tear) in the wall and leakage into the body cavities; if this occurs, surgical operation to close the leak and drain the region is often necessary.
- Bleeding, if it occurs, usually is a complication of biopsy, polypectomy, or dilatation. Management of this complication may consist only of careful observation or may require blood transfusion or possibly a surgical operation for control.
- Other risks include possible drug reactions, complication due to other diseases you may have, or vein irritation caused by medication given into your vein during endoscopy procedure. This vein irritation may cause temporary soreness, numbness, or small bumps due to scar tissue in that arm. You should inform your physician of all your allergies and medical problems.
- We ask that all jewelry & body piercings be removed prior to your procedure for your safety. The potential risks of wearing jewelry in the procedure room may include but are not limited to lacerations, pressure injuries, jewelry or tissue damage caused by entanglement of items (such as monitoring cables), and electrocautery burns. It is important to remove jewelry or piercings in or around the mouth or nose to avoid dislocation, injury, or aspiration into the lungs. ALL OF THESE COMPLICATIONS ARE POSSIBLE BUT OCCUR WITH A VERY LOW FREQUENCY.
- Some cancers may be missed by endoscopy. Some cancers can develop and progress in a short period of time.
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