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Information on EGDs & Colonoscopies

This is an article I read on the procedures that I will have to undergo to see if there’s anything wrong with my insides… 😦

This is from eHow.com

I am quoting it verbatim…

There are two tests that doctors will routinely do if you are experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort or signs of illness. They are the EGD, or esophagogastroduodenoscopy; and the colonoscopy. The EGD is an endoscopy performed with a scope that goes down your throat. The colonoscopy is also a scope test, performed via the anus/rectum. These tests make it possible for the doctor to see the inside of your digestive tract and intestines without actually performing surgery on you, unwarranted.

    Prep for EGD

  1. In order to perform an EGD, your doctor will ask you to fast approximately six to 12 hours. If the test is performed early in the morning, then fasting is done all night, which is not so much of a strain on you. You may also have to discontinue any aspirin or blood thinners long before the procedure, depending on your doctor’s orders.
    When you arrive for the test, the nurse will probably insert an intravenous (IV) needle, so that medications can be given to you while you are undergoing testing. She will also ask you to lie on your left side, and you will be given medication to help you sleep, so that you don’t feel what is going on. The doctor will spray anesthetic on your throat, so that you don’t gag or choke while the test is being performed.
  2. Function of EGD

  3. A doctor performs an EGD by inserting a fiberoptic endoscope, that has a camera, down through your mouth and throat into your stomach and the duodenum. As he inserts the tube, he will probably fill up your digestive tract with air, so that he can see a more clear picture of what might be going on. The endoscope comes equipped with an instrument the doctor can use to remove a biopsy (tissue sample) if he does spot a problem area.
    Problem areas the doctor looks for may include ulcers, evidence of H.Pylori bacteria or even cancer.
  4. Post-Op Care with EGD

  5. Your EGD usually will only take around 20 minutes, possibly more if there were suspected problem areas to be biopsied. Before you are released to go home, the doctor and nurses will want to make sure that your gag reflex comes back, meaning that the anesthetic they sprayed on your throat has worn off. They will make sure you are able to drink something. Your throat may be sore afterward, and you may want to secure a ride home with someone. You’ll be advised to call about the results of any biopsies they’ll be testing.
  6. Prep for Colonoscopy

  7. Preparation for a colonoscopy is much more intense and is dreaded by all who have had to endure it. It is very necessary, though, so that your colon will be completely clear for the doctor to be able to spot any problems. Usually, you will be asked to fast from solid foods for 24 hours before the procedure. You may have liquids and Jello, but they have to be clear liquids. Red Jello, for instance, is a no-go as it could be mistaken for blood. You will also be given a liquid laxative, such as GoLYTELY, that you will have to drink within a certain time limit. After this, you must stay near your bathroom, as you could experience significant discomfort and diarrhea. You may also be required to use enemas. This is a very important step to follow in your preparation.
    If you are taking medications of any kind, especially aspirin or any kind of blood thinner, you should inform your doctor of this well ahead of time. Also, your doctor will probably take you off any iron tablets for the duration of the test.
    You will probably be put to sleep for this test, but sometimes patients are just given a medication to calm them and slightly sedate them, so that they are still awake but comfortable.
  8. Function of Colonoscopy

  9. As with an EGD, you’ll be sedated or put out and an IV will be set up. Once again, the doctor will use a long, thin endoscopic fiberoptic tube with a camera. In this case the scope is called a colonoscope. He will insert it into your anus and up through your rectum, into your intestine. He will probably blow air out into the colon, which helps him to see it much better. He can go all the way into the adjoining portion of the small intestine with this tube. Again, the scope includes an instrument with which the doctor can take tissue biopsies, if he spots problem areas, such as polyps. He’ll routinely burn off any polyps he doesn’t biopsy with the same instrument. A colonoscopy is especially useful for spotting cancer.
  10. Post-Op Care with a Colonoscopy

  11. After the test is completed, you will most likely feel groggy. The doctor and nurses will want you to be able to pass gas, due to the air blown into your colon, before releasing you to go home. The doctor will go over any findings and whether or not tissues were biopsied and sent to the lab for further testing. You’ll be advised to call for the results of any tests done on the tissue in a day or two. You will not be allowed to drive yourself home, and therefore will have had to make arrangements for that before undergoing the test.

It does seem like it’s gonna hurt but I will be sedated, thank God! 🙂  It is said that 98% of the time, the results are normal and if there should be anything amiss, it’s almost always benign…so there…nothing to worry about. 😉

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