Endoscopy is relatively safe and quick to carry out. Millions of it are performed every year, but it is still important to prepare for the procedure to ensure that it goes smoothly. Your doctor may give you specific instructions on what to do, but here some general tips that should help you get ready if you are scheduled to undergo an endoscopy:
Familiarize Yourself with the Procedure
Endoscopy involves inserting a long, thin tube directly into a person’s body. The objective of the procedure is to take a detailed look at an internal organ or tissue. A doctor may order an upper GI endoscopy through Revere Health-GI Connect, for example, to investigate a suspected peptic ulcer or to evaluate symptoms such as vomiting, nausea and abdominal pain.
The procedure will not require you to stay in the hospital overnight. It usually takes only around an hour to complete. Endoscopies are typically performed while the patient is conscious. You may be sedated to help you relax during the procedure.
Inform Your Doctor About Your Health and Medications
A doctor will carry out an examination prior to the endoscopy, but it will help to be more open to the doctor about your health condition. Be sure to inform your doctor about all medications and food supplements that you are currently taking, as well as the procedures you have had before. You also need to tell the doctor if you are pregnant or have any health condition. This will help the doctor prepare for precautions needed, so the procedure will be done as safely as possible.
The doctor will explain to you some potential risks as well. He or she will inform the medical team about your medication or allergies that you may have.
Do Not Eat and Drink
Many types of endoscopy will require you to fast around 12 hours, but this may vary depending on the procedure. For those who require investigation of the gut, you may need to take laxatives the night before to help clear out your system.
You might need to forego eating or drinking anything, including gums or mints after midnight the night before your endoscopy. Your doctor, however, may allow you to have clear liquids, such as water, coffee without cream, and broth up to six hours before the procedure if it will be carried out in the afternoon. Avoid drinking anything orange or red.
Prepare the Necessary Forms
Your doctor may ask you to sign a consent form stating that you agree to go through the procedure. Fill out all consent forms and other paperwork at least the night before. Place them in the bag you will carry, so you will not forget them.
Come up with a plan so you know what to do after the procedure. Remember that you will be given a narcotic and a sedative during the endoscopy. These drugs will make you drowsy, so it will not be a good idea to drive after the procedure. Make an arrangement for somebody to pick you up and drive you home. You may also want to take time off your work until you fully recover. Be sure to inform your employer beforehand that you need time to recuperate.