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Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (cont.)

During the Procedure

Upper GI endoscopy

  • You will be placed on your left side and have a plastic mouthpiece placed between your teeth to keep your mouth open and make it easier to pass the tube.
  • The doctor lubricates the endoscope, passes it through the mouthpiece, then asks you to swallow it. The doctor guides the endoscope under direct visualization through your stomach into the small intestine.
  • Any saliva you have will be cleared using a small suction tube that is removed quickly and easily after the test.
  • The doctor inspects portions of the linings of your esophagus, stomach, and the upper portion of your small intestine and then reinspects them as the instrument is withdrawn.
  • If necessary, biopsies and removal of foreign bodies and polyps may be performed.
  • The procedure usually is completed within 10-15 minutes. Any surgical procedures will require several minutes.

Lower GI endoscopy (colonoscopy)

  • You will be placed on your left side with your hips back, flexed beyond your abdominal wall.
  • The doctor lubricates the endoscope and inserts it into your anus and advances it under direct vision.
  • The doctor will study your colon and rectum walls and reinspect them as the endoscope is withdrawn. If necessary, surgeries may be performed.
  • You may feel uneasiness and abdominal pain. The procedure usually takes 15-20 minutes. Any surgeries will require additional time, depending on the type.
  • Most colonoscopies are done with conscious sedation. Patients are asleep and should not feel anything. Office sigmoidoscopies are done on awake patients but these are not done very often anymore. 
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