Endoscopy in Crohn Disease (cont.)
Noel Williams, MD
Kathryn L Hale, MS, PA-C
Simmy Bank, MD, MB, ChB
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
BS Anand, MD
IN THIS ARTICLE
Endoscopy: What to expect
The results of endoscopic tests are useful only if you follow your 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, you will be asked to read and sign an informed consent. Make sure you understand why the test is necessary and what the risks are. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
While endoscopy is not usually painful, it can be uncomfortable, and many people feel apprehensive. If you are having an EGD, ERCP, or colonoscopy, you will probably be given a pain medication and a sedative to relax you for the procedure. You should arrange for someone else to pick you up and drive you home after the test. Sigmoidoscopy is a limited test and does not usually require sedation.
During the test, you will lie down on an adjustable stretcher. Your position will depend on which test you are having and the techniques of the doctor performing the test. If you are sedated, your blood pressure and blood oxygen will be monitored.
The procedure will take anywhere from about 10 to about 30 minutes, depending on which test you are having. If you have been sedated, you will be taken to a recovery room and monitored by nurses until you are alert enough to leave.
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