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Endoscopy in Crohn Disease (cont.)


How do I prepare for the endoscopy 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 their 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.

What happens during endoscopy?

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.

How long does endoscopy last?

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.

What are the complications of endoscopy?

Patient Comments

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.

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care


Kita, H., MD. "Overview of deep small bowel enteroscopy." UpToDate. Updated Jul 15, 2015.

Peralta, R., MD. "Capsule Endoscopy." Medscape. Updated Dec 04, 2016.

Stein, D. E., MD. "Colonoscopy." Medscape. Updated Mar 13, 2016.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/27/2016
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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.

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