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Endoscopy in Crohn Disease (cont.)

Endoscopy: What to Expect During the Procedure

Patient Comments

The results of endoscopic tests are useful only if the patient follow their doctor's instructions to prepare before the test. The preparations involve clearing as much stool and food residue out of the digestive tract as possible, since this material can hide signs of disease. The "bowel prep" regimen varies slightly among the different tests.

  • EGD: Generally the only preparation is taking no food or beverages after midnight the night before the test and until the test is completed.
  • ERCP: The preparation for ERCP is the same as for EGD.
  • Colonoscopy: The entire colon should be as clean as possible. Patients should follow the instructions given by thier doctor exactly. Patients may be asked to avoid solid foods for a day or two before the test. Patients will asked to not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the test. There are several options available to clean the bowel. A few of these include plyethylene glycol solution (GoLYTELY, NuLYTELY, CoLyte) and Fleet Phospho-Soda liquid. Your physician will have recommendations for which bowel prep to use.
  • Sigmoidoscopy: Patients use enema solutions the night before and the morning of the test to clear all stool from the lower colon.

Endoscopy is a very safe procedure. Like all procedures, however, it carries some risks. Complications are very rare, but they can be serious. The instrument can cause a small hole in the intestinal wall. This is called perforation. The risk of this is less than 1 in 1000. Other risks are bleeding and infection.

Before the test, patients will be asked to read and sign an informed consent. Patients should make sure they understand why the test is necessary and what the risks are. Ask the doctor if there are any questions.

While endoscopy is not usually painful, it can be uncomfortable, and many people feel apprehensive. If a patient is having an EGD, ERCP, or colonoscopy, they will probably be given a pain medication and a sedative to relax for the procedure. Patients should arrange for someone else to pick them up and drive them home after the test. Sigmoidoscopy is a limited test and does not usually require sedation.

During the test, the patient will lie down on an adjustable stretcher. The position will depend on the test being performed, and the techniques of the doctor performing the test. If the patient is sedated, your blood pressure and blood oxygen will be monitored.

The procedure will take anywhere from about 10 to about 30 minutes, depending on the test being performed. If the patient has been sedated, they will be taken to a recovery room and monitored by nurses until they are alert enough to leave.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/11/2013
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Endoscopy in Crohn's Disease - Type

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Crohn Disease »

Crohn disease is an idiopathic, chronic, transmural inflammatory process of the bowel that often leads to fibrosis and obstructive symptoms, which can affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the mouth to the anus.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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