Colonoscopy is the visual examination of the large intestine (colon) to identify and/or correct a problem using a lighted, flexible video endoscope. The video endoscope uses a tiny, optically sensitive computer chip at the end. Electronic signals are then transmitted up the scope to a computer, which displays the image on a large video screen.
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There is an open channel in the scope that allows other instruments to be passed in order to perform certain procedures, such as polyp removal and biopsy to obtain small tissue samples for microscopic analysis. Directly viewing the inside of the colon by colonoscopy is usually the best exam. The test enables a diagnosis to be made and specific treatment provided.
The flexible colonoscope is a remarkable piece of equipment that can be directed and moved around the many bends in the colon. A colonoscopy can be performed on an outpatient basis using mild sedation. All patients will require a ride to and from the Deaconess Surgery Center. The procedure takes 15 to 30 minutes and is seldom remembered by the sedated patient. The patient will remain in a recovery area to monitor vital signs until fully awake. It is normal to experience mild cramping or abdominal pressure following the exam. After the exam, the physician will explain the findings to the patient and family.
The preparation for the exam varies based on physician preference. To obtain the full benefits of the exam, the colon must be clean. The patient will receive instructions on how to do this. It involves drinking a solution, which flushes the colon clean or taking laxatives and enemas. Usually the patient drinks only clear liquids and eats no food for the day before the exam. The physician advises the patient regarding the use of regular medications during that time. It is VERY important that the preparation be completed as prescribed. This will allow for clear visualization of the large intestine.
Upper GI Endoscopy
Upper GI Endoscopy , sometimes called EGD, is a visual exam of the upper intestinal tract using a lighted flexible video endoscope. It allows the physician to visualize the esophagus, the stomach and the entrance into the small intestine known as the duodenum. The flexible endoscope can be directed and moved around the many bends in the gastrointestinal tract. The endoscope has a tiny, optically sensitive computer chip at the end. Electronic signals are then transmitted up the scope to the computer, which then displays the image on a large video screen. An open channel in these scopes allows other instruments to be passed through in order to take tissue samples, remove polyps and perform other exams.
An upper GI Endoscopy is performed primarily to identify and/or correct a problem in the upper gastrointestinal tract. It is usually performed on an outpatient basis. A spray often anesthetizes the throat. Intravenous sedation is given to relax the patient. The patients can breathe easily throughout the exam. The exam takes from 15 to 30 minutes after which time the patient is taken to the recovery area. There is no pain with the procedure and patients seldom remember much about it. All patients will require a ride to and from the Deaconess Surgery Center on the day of the exam. Driving is prohibited for 24 hours after the administration of the sedatives. After the exam, the physician will explain the results to the patient and the family.
It is important not to eat or drink anything for at least eight hours before the exam. The physician instructs the patient about the use of regular medications, including blood thinners, before the exam.
GERD is a common problem that requires medical attention when symptoms and tissue damage become troublesome. Fortunately, there is a great deal that can be done about GERD. Lifestyle changes can help and there are many medications that can be used to treat GERD.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD as it is commonly referred to, is a serious heartburn brought on by the esophagus being constantly exposed to stomach acid, which irritates the lining. The esophagus is the muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach. Heartburn is that burning sensation felt behind the breastbone and sometimes in the neck and throat. Occasional heartburn is nothing to be concerned about. However, anyone who has heartburn on a regular basis should consult a physician. An endoscopy is the most important test for patients with GERD.
A good medical program can contribute to the successful treatment of GERD.
Post Procedure Instructions
After the Colonoscopy you may eat and drink as normal, unless otherwise instructed. Mild abdominal pain, bloating or excessive gas is expected. Rest, eat lightly and use of a heating pad may help relieve the discomfort.
You should contact your physician immediately if you develop severe abdominal pain, bloating, fever and/or rectal bleeding within 24 hours following the procedure.
After the EGD it is not uncommon for the throat to feel sore. Gargling with warm salt water or using a throat lozenge may help to relieve this minor discomfort. Mild abdominal discomfort and bloating is normal. Eat a light diet and rest.
You should contact your physician if you develop chills or fever, chest pain, severe abdominal pain or nausea and vomiting.