Endoscopy: What to Expect

Endoscopy: What to Expect

If you suffer from digestive problems, an endoscopy can help our team figure out what’s going on. We can get a visual of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract to look for issues in your esophagus, stomach, small intestines, large intestine, colon, and rectum.

At Imperial Digestive Health Specialists, board-certified Oforbuike Ewelukwa, MD, MSc, leads our team of endoscopy specialists to help identify the root cause of your digestive issues.

Here’s some info on the types of endoscopies, what to expect, and how to prepare for one.

Types of endoscopies

Depending on your symptoms, we offer three endoscopy options.

Upper endoscopy

This procedure involves inserting a thin, flexible tube through your mouth, down your throat, and into your GI tract. It has a tiny, fiber-optic camera on the end that transmits images to a monitor. This way, we get an up-close view of the upper part of your digestive system. 

Wireless capsule camera

When we need to view your small intestine, we have you swallow a tiny camera that takes pictures of your digestive tract. The pictures are sent to a device worn around your waist. Once the camera passes through your system, you eliminate it through your stool.

Lower endoscopy

A colonoscopy is a type of endoscopy that allows us to see a detailed view of your rectum and the lining of your entire colon. We can also remove polyps during this procedure to help prevent colon cancer.

How to prepare

We learn about your medications prior to your endoscopy and may suggest that you refrain from certain ones, such as aspirin and other medicines that could cause complications.

You need to have an empty stomach before your procedure. We give you specific instructions based on the procedure you’re having.

For an upper endoscopy, if you wear eyeglasses or dentures, prepare to remove them before your procedure. If you’re having a lower endoscopy, you can leave your dentures in.

You also need to make arrangements to have someone drive you home after your endoscopy for safety reasons. We have follow-up care instructions to help you experience a smooth recovery.

How an endoscopy works

Before your procedure begins, you lie down on a table on your back or side. We attach monitors to your body to watch your vitals, such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.

If we give you sedation, we typically administer it through a vein in your forearm, which helps you relax during your procedure. For an upper endoscopy, we can also give you an anesthetic that we spray in the back of your throat to help numb the area before inserting the endoscope.

We then insert the tube into your mouth and down your throat. The process can feel a bit uncomfortable, but you won’t experience any pain. For a lower endoscopy, we insert an endoscope into your anus, which is easily tolerated with sedation. 

These procedures only take about 45-60 minutes, have minimal risk of complications, and are considered safe.

If you have digestive problems, contact our team for an evaluation. A nonsurgical endoscopy can diagnose your issue so we can give you the proper treatment. Call 281-397-3499 today, or text 832-639-5725 for an appointment. For your convenience, you can also request an appointment online.

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