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Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (cont.)

Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Risks

  • Upper GI endoscopy (EGD): Although rare, bleeding and puncture of your esophagus or stomach walls are possible during EGD. Other complications include the following:
  • Severe irregular heartbeat
  • Pulmonary aspiration - When material, either particulate (food, foreign body) or fluid (gastric contents, blood, or saliva), enters from your throat into your windpipe
  • Infections and fever that wax and wain
  • Respiratory depression, a decrease in the rate or depth of breathing, in people with severe lung diseases or liver cirrhosis
  • Reaction of the vagus nerve system to the sedatives
  • Lower GI endoscopy (colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, enteroscopy): Although uncommon, possible complications of colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy include the following:
  • Local pain
  • Dehydration (due to excess of laxatives and enemas for bowel preparation)
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Bleeding and infection
  • Hole in the colon
  • Explosion of combustible gases in the colon (certain gases are produced within the bowel) during removal of polyps
  • Respiratory depression usually due to oversedation in people with chronic lung disease
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/3/2014
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