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Before, During, and After - What to Expect with Endoscopic Testing

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Are you familiar with Endoscopy exams? Simply put, an endoscopy is a medical procedure that allows a doctor to examine the inside of your body using an endoscope, a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it. The two most commonly performed endoscopies are an EGD (or Upper Endoscopy) to look into the esophagus and stomach, and a Colonoscopy (or Lower Endoscopy), to evaluate the colon. There are several other types of endoscopies such as Endoscopic Ultrasound, Enteroscopy (an exam for the small bowel), Endoscopic Ultrasound, and Capsule Endoscopy to name a few. This article will focus on 2 procedures typically performed at the Outpatient Surgical Center, and EGD and a Colonoscopy.

Endoscopies are commonly performed to diagnose or treat various gastrointestinal (GI) conditions, such as ulcers, polyps, and inflammation. If you're scheduled for an endoscopy, it's normal to feel a bit nervous or uncertain about the process.

To help you feel more at ease, we will walk you through what to expect before, during, and after an endoscopy procedure to help ease your anxiety and ensure you're well-prepared:

Before the Endoscopy

1. Preparation

To prepare for your exam, your doctor will provide you with specific instructions to follow, which may include fasting for several hours or adjusting your medications. For colonoscopy exams, you will also be asked to cleanse your bowel in advance using laxatives as directed. Be sure to follow these instructions carefully to ensure the procedure goes smoothly.

2. Informed Consent

Before the procedure, your doctor will explain the risks and benefits of the endoscopy, as well as any alternative diagnostic or treatment options. After you have a clear understanding of the procedure, you will be asked to sign an informed consent form.

3. Pre-procedure Assessment

Upon arrival at the endoscopy center or hospital, you will be asked about your medical history, medications, and allergies. Your vital signs, such as blood pressure and heart rate, will be checked, and an IV line may be placed to administer medications during the procedure.

During the Endoscopy

1. Sedation

To ensure your comfort during the procedure, you may be given sedatives or anesthesia to help you relax or sleep. The type of sedation used will depend on the specific endoscopy being performed and your overall health. The most commonly used medication in our endoscopies is Propofol.

2. Positioning

Before you are sedated, you will be positioned on your side.

3. Insertion of the Endoscope

Once you are sedated, The doctor will gently insert the endoscope through the appropriate body opening, such as your mouth or anus. The endoscope is carefully advanced through your digestive tract, and the camera captures images that are displayed on a monitor for the doctor to evaluate.

4. Biopsies or Treatments

During the endoscopy, your doctor may take biopsies (tissue samples) for further testing or perform treatments, such as removing polyps or treating bleeding. These additional procedures are usually painless and are minimally invasive just like the exam itself.

After the Endoscopy

1. Recovery

Following the procedure, you will be monitored in a recovery area as the sedatives or anesthesia wear off. The length of time spent in recovery will depend on the type of sedation used, as well as your individual response to it.

2. Post-procedure Instructions

Your doctor will provide you with specific instructions to follow after your endoscopy, which may include dietary restrictions, medication adjustments, and follow-up appointments. Be sure to follow these instructions closely to ensure optimal healing and recovery.

3. Results

The results of your endoscopy, including any treatments performed, will be reviewed by your doctor. They will discuss the findings with you and recommend any additional tests or treatments if necessary. Biopsy results typically return in 1 or 2 weeks after the examination.

4. Side Effects and Complications

Mild side effects, such as bloating and gas, are common after endoscopy and usually resolve quickly. More serious complications, such as infection or perforation, are rare but can occur. If you experience severe pain, fever, or vomiting after your endoscopy, contact your doctor immediately.


All in all, an endoscopy is a valuable diagnostic and therapeutic tool that allows doctors to evaluate and treat various gastrointestinal conditions. Understanding what to expect before, during, and after the procedure can help alleviate any anxiety and ensure you are well-prepared. If you still have any questions or concerns, be sure to discuss them with your doctor!

Stuart Akerman MD is a top-rated gastroenterologist that offers various procedures to patients to better understand what's going on in their body and overcome any problems that may be discovered. If you are looking for the best GI doctor in Dallas to learn more about various procedures and undergo one, contact us today!


DISCLAIMER: Please note that this blog is intended for Informational Use only and is not intended to replace personal evaluation and treatment by a medical provider. The information provided on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Please consult your doctor for any information related to your personal care.


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