An endoscopy is an examination of the upper digestive tract (the stomach and duodenum) using an endoscope – a long soft flexible tube, containing a camera and a light.
An endoscopy is usually ordered to investigate the cause of abdominal pain, vomiting, bleeding or anaemia, and to make or confirm a diagnosis.
What do I need to do to prepare for this test?
You will be asked to not eat or drink anything for eight hours before going to the hospital. This includes medicines, so if you are on any medication you should ring first and check if it is all right to take it.
What happens before the test?
You will be asked to change into a hospital gown, and remove all jewellery and constricting underwear. The doctor will discuss the test with you and answer any questions. You will also need to sign a consent form allowing the test to be done.
After you have been sedated, the back of your throat will be sprayed with a bitter tasting anaesthetic to make it numb and to help you not to gag. A plastic guard will be put between your teeth to stop you from biting the endoscope. If you have false teeth (dentures) they will be removed. Your blood pressure and pulse will also be monitored.
有时一个特殊的仪器可以插入的刺ough the scope, and a small sample of tissue (a biopsy) removed. This is not painful. The doctor may also take some photos to refer to later. Some treatments can be performed while the endoscope is in eg, controlling blood loss from an ulcer or injecting big veins (like varicose veins) in the stomach. These treatments will make the procedure a little longer and will have been discussed with the doctor first.
Once the doctor is happy that everything has been seen, as much of the air as possible will be removed, and the scope will be gently pulled out.
What happens after the test?
Make sure you have someone to drive you home as you will still be drowsy after the test. You should not drive and should also plan to rest for the remainder of the day.
What are the risks?
Where do I go for a endoscopy?
If you need an endoscopy, your doctor will refer you to either your local District Health Board or a private endoscopy service. Due to the number of people needing an endoscopy, public services are limited to people who meet certain criteria and there is a waiting list for non-urgent tests.