Endoscopy in Crohn Disease (cont.)
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Endoscopy: What to Expect During the Procedure
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.
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
Noel Williams, MD
Kathryn L Hale, MS, PA-C
Simmy Bank, MD, MB, ChB
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
BS Anand, MD
Venkatachala Mohan, MD
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