An endoscopy is a procedure that lets your gastroenterologist get a closer look at the inside of your body without making a large incision. The endoscope, which is a flexible tube attached to a camera, is inserted through an opening (like the mouth) or a small cut made by the doctor. Forceps may be used to remove tissue for biopsy.
Why Is My Doctor Telling Me That I Need an Endoscopy?
This procedure is recommended when your gastroenterologist needs to take a closer look at an internal organ. Chances are there are symptoms that indicate that the organ may be damaged, infected, or may have developed cancer.
In order to come to this conclusion, your doctor will start with a basic physical examination. You will most likely have to undergo blood testing. In some cases, the blood test results may provide your doctor with the information they need to treat your condition without doing an endoscopy.
Preparing for an Endoscopy
Your doctor will go over everything you need to know before the endoscopy. Most patients will be advised to fast for 12 hours. Laxatives or an enema sometimes are required the night before. This is done to clear out your system when the procedure will involve traveling through the gastrointestinal tract. You may be advised to have someone available to drive you home due to the lingering effects of anesthesia.
The more prepared you are, the easier it will be when it’s time for your appointment. Talk to your gastroenterologist to learn more about why they are recommending an endoscopy.