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Endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure used to examine a person's digestive tract. Using an endoscope, a flexible tube with a light source and video camera, your doctor can view your digestive tract on a color TV monitor in real time. There are two types of procedures completed while in the Endoscopy department:

  1. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) - an endoscope is easily passed through the mouth and throat, down the esophagus, allowing the doctor to view the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine called the duodenum.
  2. Colonoscopy (colon) - an endoscope is passed through the rectum to examine the large intestine.
    • Colonoscopy is the number one method of early detection for Colorectal Cancer in adults.
Endoscopy can be used to both diagnose and treat digestive tract problems during the time of the procedure. There are many interventions the gastroenterologist can perform through the endoscope, like stopping a bleeding ulcer, or removing a polyp, or even taking biopsies (removal of tissue) to look for the presence of disease.

Why Do I Need an Endoscopy/Colonoscopy?

Doctors will often recommend endoscopy to evaluate:

  • Stomach pain
  • Ulcers, gastritis, or difficulty swallowing
  • Digestive tract bleeding
  • Changes in bowl habits (chronic constipation or diarrhea)
  • Colorectal Cancer Screening (CRCS)/Polyps or growths in the colon identified through imaging (MRI/CT scans)

How Do I Prepare for Endoscopy?

Examining the upper digestive tract (upper endoscopy) requires nothing more than fasting for 6-8 hours prior to the procedure. To examine the colon, it must be cleared of stool. Therefore, a laxative prep given on the day before the procedure.

Sedation. For most examinations with an endoscope, a sedative is provided, this increases the comfort of the individual undergoing the examination. The sedative, which is administered via an injection into the vein, allows for relaxation and light sleep. There are usually few if any recollections of the procedure. Patients wake up within an hour, but the effects of the medicines are more prolonged, so it is not safe to drive until the next day.

General anesthesia (puts you fully asleep for a period of time) is given on a case-by-case basis, and in special circumstances when the physician deems it necessary.

Is Endoscopy/Colonoscopy Safe?

Overall, endoscopy is very safe; however, the procedure does have a few but rare potential complications, which may include, but not limited to:

  • Perforation (tear in the gastrointestinal wall)
  • Reaction to sedation
  • Infection
  • Bleeding

Who Performs Endoscopy?

Gastroenterology specialists (gastroenterologists) will perform the endoscopy procedures, with the assistance of specialty-trained nurses and technicians.

Where is the Endoscopy Department located?

The Endoscopy Department is located on the 3rd floor in the south tower of Midland Memorial Hospital. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. The staff at the Endoscopy department can be reached anytime during hours of operation by calling (432) 221-4601.
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