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Endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure to observe the insides of a person’s body using a device called an endoscope. An endoscope is a long, thin, and flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it. This device allows your doctor to see pictures of the insides of your body on a television screen. Endoscopy can investigate unusual symptoms, help perform certain types of surgery, and remove a small tissue sample for further analysis (biopsy). You may be suggested to undergo endoscopy if you have persistent abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, persistent nausea and vomiting, vomiting blood, gallstones, blockage of the esophagus, unusual bleeding, chest pains that are not caused by heart conditions, and numerous other symptoms.
Before an endoscopy, you may need to stop taking certain medications, such as anticoagulant and antiplatelet. You will also need to fast for around 12 hours. For certain types of endoscopy, mainly procedures to investigate the gut, you may be asked to take laxatives the night before to clear your system. Endoscopy is not painful, but some people experience mild discomfort. This procedure is typically performed when the patient is unconscious. However, you may be given a local anesthetic and sedative. During the procedure, an endoscope will be inserted into your body through various openings, depending on which part of your body is being examined. There are various types of endoscopy, including Bronchoscopy, Colonoscopy, Laparoscopy, and Upper Endoscopy.
The whole procedure may take between 15 to 60 minutes to complete. It is usually carried out as an outpatient procedure, which means you can go home once the local anesthetic and sedative have worn off. Nevertheless, plan to stay in the North for about 3 to 7 days because the result will take a few days. The recovery period depends on what type of endoscopy you underwent. You should allow some time to rest, at least 24 hours, before doing any activity. Endoscopy has a high success rate, but you still need to be aware of its rare complications such as chest pains and vomiting.