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Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Colonoscopy

Your large intestine or colon connects to the small intestine and ends at the anus.It is about 4-6 feet in length. A colonoscopy uses a lighted video endoscope that projects a computerized moving picture of your intestine on a monitor as the endoscope is advanced around your large intestine. The endoscope has an open channel that allows the doctor to take tissue samples, remove polyps, or perform other tests or treatments. Colonoscopy is one of the most sensitive exams to detect colon cancer, colon polyps, colitis, diverticulosis, bleeding lesions, or to evaluate abdominal pain or anemia. Rarely, polyps or small tumors could be missed on this exam. This exam requires the colon to be clean and free of stool.You will be given a separate instruction sheet to prepare for this test.

On the day of your colonoscopy , a nurse will ask you questions about your medical history, answer any questions you may have about the colonoscopy, have you sign a procedure consent form and start an intravenous line (IV) in your hand or arm. The doctor will give you medication to sedate you through the IV which will make you sleepy and relaxed for the exam. The medication has a short-term amnesia effect; therefore most patients do not remember the test.Your vital signs and oxygen levels will be monitored during and after the exam.The intravenous sedation you receive is not the same as anesthesia which puts the patient in a deep sleep.

After you are sedated, the endoscope is inserted through your anus and advanced gently through the colon.Usually a colonoscopy is completed within 15-30 minutes and is painless causing minimal patient discomfort. The doctor will put air in the colon during the exam to help evaluate the bowel lining, therefore you may feel gas pressure or mild cramping after the colonoscopy.This usually subsides within an hour.

Colonoscopy is a very safe method of evaluating the large intestine, but there some complications that rarely occur from this procedure.These include, but are not limited to, perforation or hole in the bowel, bleeding, infection, for an adverse reaction to medication.Complications such as perforation or serious bleeding may require hospitalization and surgery.

There all alternative ways to evaluate the large intestine or colon such as a barium enema, ultrasound, or CT scan.These tests use different ways to evaluate the intestinal tract, but only endoscopy provides a direct view of the large intestine.

The physician will explain the colonoscopy findings to you following the exam.Because you will be groggy and may not remember what the physician tells you, it is helpful to have a family member or friend with you.Because you have been sedated, you must have a person available to drive home.

Upper Endoscopy (EGD)

Your upper gastrointestinal tract begins with your mouth and continues into the esophagus then into the stomach and then into the first part of the small intestine called the duodenum.An upper endoscopy uses a lighted video endoscope that projects a computerized moving picture of your intestine on a monitor as the endoscope is advanced through your upper intestinal tract.The endoscope has an open channel that allows the doctor to take tissue samples, remove polyps, or perform other tests or treatments. Upper endoscopy is the most sensitive test to examine for conditions such as heartburn, difficulty swallowing, tumors, bleeding, ulcers or abdominal pain.Biopsies of the stomach lining are usually done to test for a common bacterial infection called Helicobacter pylori gastritis.If you have trouble swallowing and have narrowing in the esophagus, the doctor may stretch your esophagus with dilators or a balloon dilator.This is called dilatation.

On the day of your upper endoscopy , a nurse will ask you questions about your medical history, answer any questions you may have about the upper endoscopy , have you sign a procedure consent form and start an intravenous line (IV) in your hand or arm. The doctor may spray your throat with a local anesthetic that numbs your throat for about 20 minutes. The doctor will give you medication to sedate you through the IV which will make you sleepy and relaxed for the exam.The medication has a short-term amnesia effect; therefore most patients do not remember the test.Your vital signs and oxygen levels will be monitored during and after the exam.The intravenous sedation you receive is not the same as anesthesia which puts the patient in a deep sleep.After you are sedated, the endoscope is inserted through the mouth down into the esophagus, stomach, and into the intestine. You will be able to breathe easily with the endoscope in your mouth.

Upper endoscopy is a very safe method of evaluating the upper and intestinal track, but there some complications that rarely occur from this procedure.These include, but are not limited to, perforation or hole, bleeding, or an adverse reaction to medication.Complications such as perforation or serious bleeding may require hospitalization and surgery.Some patients may experience a minor sore throat following the procedure.

There all alternative ways to evaluate the esophagus and upper intestine such as a barium test, ultrasound, or CT scan.These tests use different ways to evaluate the intestinal tract, but only endoscopy provides a direct view of the esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine.

The physician will explain the upper endoscopy findings to you following the exam.Because you will be groggy and may not remember what the physician tells you, it is helpful to have a family member or friend with you. Because you have been sedated, you must have a person available to drive home