In this article we will look at:
- What is endoscopy?
- What are the types of endoscopy?
- When is an endoscopy suggested?
- What are the guidelines to follow before an endoscopy?
- What are the risks of an endoscopy?
- What are the guidelines to follow after undergoing an endoscopy?
- What is the cost of endoscopy in India?
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What is endoscopy?
Endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure in which a long flexible tube with an attached camera is inserted through an incision or an opening in the body (such as the mouth or anus) so that the doctor can view an internal organ or a piece of tissue minutely.
Endoscopies are performed not only to observe the insides of an area in the body but also to perform minor surgeries, or remove some tissue for biopsy.
Endoscopy typically helps a doctor to:
- find out the cause for the symptoms from which you are suffering.
- perform endoscopic biopsies.
- observe the inside of a body area while performing a surgery such as gallstones or tumor removal.
What are the types of endoscopy?
Based on the area of the body that needs investigation endoscopy can be of various types. Please see the table below:
When is an endoscopy suggested?
After a thorough physical check-up and possible tests such as blood tests, if the doctor is still dissatisfied he may suggest an endoscopy if the patient suffers from:
- vaginal bleeding
- blood in the urine
- stomach ulcer
- acid reflux (GERD)
- inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease
- chronic constipation
- problems in the digestive tract, for example, unexplained bleeding
- blockage of the esophagus
- a hiatal hernia
What are the guidelines to follow before an endoscopy?
You will be given instructions by your healthcare provider prior to an appointment for an endoscopy procedure to prepare for it. Some usual guidelines are:
- Let the doctor know in detail about your medical history, including your family’s medical history. If you suffer from any medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, allergies or are prone to allergies, or any other medical condition let the doctor know.
- You need to let the doctor know of all the medicines you take including blood thinners, vitamins, multi-vitamins, or over-the-counter medication prior to the procedure. You may be required to stop taking medications (especially blood thinners) for a few days prior to the procedure.
- Ask the doctor in detail about why you require the procedure, whether the procedure will hurt you, the possible risks of the procedure, and whatever other questions you may have. Make sure you clear all your doubts.
- For most types of endoscopy, you will be required to stop eating solid foods for up to 12 hours before the procedure.
- For some endoscopies, liquids such as water or juice may be allowed upto two hours before the procedure.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol at least 15 hours prior to the procedure else it may interfere with the results of the procedure.
- For endoscopies related to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the doctor may prescribe laxatives or enemas for you to take the night before so that your stomach is clear before the procedure.
- Avoid wearing jewellery and wear comfortable clothes.
- Make sure you arrange for a ride back home as you may feel drowsy after the procedure, due to the sedatives administered to you to help you relax during the endoscopy.
What are the risks of an endoscopy?
The risks depend on the type of endoscopy performed and the area of the body involved. Some common risks include:
- Swelling and redness at the incision site
- Passing dark coloured stools after a colonoscopy
- Pain in the area where endoscopy was performed
- Damage to nearby organs
- Uterine bleeding or cervical trauma after a hysteroscopy
- Pain in the chest
What are the guidelines to follow after undergoing an endoscopy?
The aftercare guidelines differ according to the type of endoscopy performed.
Most of the endoscopies are day procedures or outpatient procedures, meaning you can go home on the same day after the procedure.
If any incisions were made for the procedure the doctor will suture the wound and give instructions on how to take care of the wound. After GI related endoscopy you may have to take soft foods as you will have a sore throat for some time.
If you develop any serious symptoms such as persistent bleeding while urinating after cystoscopy (ideally it should stop after 24 hours) call your doctor immediately.
Make sure to know about the risks and after-care guidelines before undergoing endoscopy.
What is the cost of endoscopy in India?
The cost of endoscopy in India would vary according to:
- The city
- The hospital and its amenities
- The overall health condition of the patient
- The urgency of the procedure
- The anesthesia used
- Type of endoscopy
Depending on the above conditions the cost can vary between Rs. 1500 to Rs. 35000.
Questions answered by trusted doctors
Did you know?
Endoscopy making it easier to diagnose health conditions
Being able to see inside the body means quicker diagnosis and treatment. Endoscopy makes it easy to investigate many areas within the human body including: Gastrointestinal tract: esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (esophagogastroduodenoscopy), small intestine (enteroscopy), large intestine/colon (colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy), bile duct, rectum (rectoscopy), and anus (anoscopy). Numerous types of endoscopies, examine everything you can imagine from your fetus, to your rectum and colon, to the inside of the nose, your joints and even your cervix and vagina to name just a few.
Complications from an endoscope are extremely rare (1%) but could possibly include; an infection, a tear or piercing of the organ being treated, bleeding. Signs of an infection would be tenderness and swelling, a fever, redness, pain and fluid discharge. If you had surgery through an endoscopy and have any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away.
Capsule endoscopy makes it even easier to diagnose
A capsule, about the size of a vitamin tablet, has a camera attached and other technology. You will be given to swallow that. After being swallowed, it moves through the body’s digestive tract and it takes pictures along the way. You will be fitted with a small recorder to wear for the day (approximately 8 hours) which records what the capsule sees. After 8 hours the doctors can download the images and information that the capsule recorded.
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