What to Expect
Before the Surgery
Before an endoscopy, a doctor will do a physical examination and check the patient’s medical history, including prior operations, if any. At this stage, patients should inform the doctor about all their current medications, including over-the-counter drugs and nutritional supplements. A doctor may also ask a patient to stop taking certain medications to avoid excessive bleeding during the procedure. Depending on the body part to be examined through the endoscope, a patient may be asked to stop eating and drinking for a few hours before the Endoscopy.
During the Surgery
A patient may be given a local anaesthesia to numb the specific area of a body part along with a sedative to relax during the surgery. A doctor will carefully insert the endoscope into the body, and throughout the procedure, the healthcare team will monitor the patient’s blood pressure and heart rate.
Nowadays, in a new innovative procedure many doctors use a capsule endoscopy procedure in which a patient is asked to swallow a capsule containing a tiny camera. The images of the digestive tract are captured and transmitted to a recorder tied to a patient’s waist.
After the Endoscopy
After the endoscopy, a patient may experience mild side effects like dry throat, sore, bloating and gas, which may disappear in a few hours. If the person has fully recovered, the doctor may discharge the patient. If the doctor has used sedation during the surgery, the patient should be taken home by another person. Also, the patient should stay away from driving or operating any machinery for the rest of the day. At the time of discharge, a doctor may also devise a follow-up schedule for the patient.
Immediately talk to the doctor if there are any of the following symptoms appear after endoscopic surgery:
- Chest pain
- Abnormal stool
- Severe abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
Note, it is not an exhaustive list of symptoms, and therefore, reaching out to the doctor in case of any discomfort post-surgery is advised.