Endoscopy Q & A
What is an endoscopy?
Endoscopy is a minimally invasive medical procedure that evaluates the upper portion of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, including your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, the very upper part of your small intestine. It’s often referred to as an upper GI endoscopy or upper endoscopy. The endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny light and camera at the end. As it passes through your digestive system, the camera sends video images to a monitor. Special instruments can be passed through the endoscope to take tissue samples and perform procedures when needed. Most procedures take no more than a half hour to 45 minutes to complete.
Will I be awake during my endoscopy?
Before your procedure, you’ll be given a sedative through an IV in your arm. The sedative will help you relax and doze during your procedure so you will have no memory of it, but you will still be able to respond to commands during your procedure and you’ll still breathe on your own.
Can I go home after my procedure?
Yes, endoscopy is performed on an outpatient basis and you can go home shortly afterward. Immediately after your procedure, you’ll spend some time in a recovery area while the sedation wears off. You’ll probably feel drowsy, so you should plan to take it easy the rest of the day, and your throat may feel scratchy for a day or so afterward. You’ll also need to have someone drive you home from your procedure.
What is a video capsule endoscopy?
Video capsule endoscopies use tiny cameras inside a pill capsule that you swallow. The camera sends data to a sensor you wear on a belt. The capsule and the tiny camera are excreted through your bowels in about a day.