Welcome back my most exquisite readers. I am starting a new series called “What to Expect.” It will touch base on such topics as doctors, hospitals, treatments, so on and so forth. Note that I am speaking from my personal experiences and some people may have different experiences on each subject I share.
Well, there are two types of Endoscopes. The first one is called:
Upper endoscopy, also known as EGD, is a procedure in which a thin scope with a light and camera at its tip is used to look inside the upper digestive tract — the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine called the duodenum.
When the doctors want to check your lower GI tract they do a:
Lower GI endoscopy allows your healthcare provider to view your lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Your entire colon and rectum can be examined (colonoscopy).
Why would someone get one?
An endoscopy is used to rule out causes for heartburn, acid reflux, abnormal bowel functions, severe abdominal pain, unexplained anaemia, vomiting blood, pain or trouble swallowing, weight loss, feeling full after eating a small amount, etc…
Why did I get a colon and endoscopy done?
I got them done because the doctors wanted to rule out Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, gastroparesis, tumours, bacterial infections, and other serious illnesses that might have been underlying my IBS symptoms. I do not have any of those luckily, but they never found out what caused my IBS to start.
How to prepare for an Endoscopy:
Your doctor will send you more specific instructions to prep for your procedure but my prep was pretty standard.
In my case, both times I had an Endoscopy done, I could not eat for 24 hours before my procedure. This is common but usually people fast for 6-18 hours. During my fast, I was instructed to drink 16 scoops of high strength MIRALAX. The scoops were 2 oz each. I mixed it with a sports drink to make it more tolerable. Somehow it makes whatever you are drinking taste like dust. They made me do this because everything had to be removed my GI tract. AKA, I was in full laxative mode for what seemed like forever. I was not a happy camper!
Where was the procedure?
My endoscopy was in the outpatient section of the children’s hospital since I was still considered a child at 15 and 16. This is the same hospital I do my check ups with, my past volunteer work, and my recent job shadow. I appreciate you, Mary Bridge staff!!!
How do doctors prep you when you arrive at the hospital?
The nurses will prep you letting you know what they are looking for and how long the endoscopy will take. Usually around 2 hours. Basically the simple rundown of things. Do not let big medical words freak you out. Note: it is only a minor procedure! The nurse will insert an IV in your arm and will get you wheeled off into the endoscopy room. Nurses might ask you to lay on your side or wear a rubber mouth guard to keep your mouth open during the endoscopy. An anaesthesiologist, will insert the anaesthesia medication into the IV and you should be asleep in less than ten seconds. This is prep is pretty typical for all patients.
Does it hurt?
You are under anaesthesia, hence unconscious, and will not feel a thing. For me, waking up from the endoscopy was painful because they pump your stomach full of air during the procedure which causes severe bloating. But after about a day or two, the bloating went was gone. Some people may feel like they have a sore throat after they wake up. The soreness is because the doctors insert the tube with the tiny camera into your esophagus during the procedure.
What happens after?
Once you gain consciousness, the nurses will speak lightly and offer you water, juice, and snacks. The doctor will come into the room and talk about your results and what is next in your treatment plan. They will let you stay in the hospital room until you are well enough to walk. You should have someone drive you home because of the effects of anaesthesia makes it hard to operate machinery… or just walk in general. (I could barely walk afterward lol).
Never having any type of procedure done before, may bring on some anxiety when going into an endoscopy but the nurses and doctors always make sure you are in good hands.
To conclude, endoscopy is a simple procedure and it will be over so quick you won’t even realize it is over. I hope sharing my experiences gives you the information you need on what to expect when you or someone you know gets an endoscopy done!