Also known as gastrointestinal endoscopy, “endoscopy” is a blanket term for describing various methods used for examining the esophagus, stomach, duodenum and large intestine. It is also a viable diagnostic method in patients passing a kidney stone, and is not limited to gastric examinations.
Patients must be fasted for 8 to 12 hours, and laxative use will not be necessary. If general anesthesia is scheduled, associated tests are performed. The patient wears a gown, sits on an examination bed and the physician sprays a local anesthetic inside the mouth, akin to those used by a dental practitioner. General anesthesia is indicated in patients who are intolerant to this procedure. The sprayed agent prevents nausea and swallowing. If general anesthesia or sedation is indicated, the patient will need to be fasted for an additional 6 hours. If the patient is to remain fully conscious, a mild sedative may be indicated. The patient lies on their left side, with their limbs immobilized and their head turned 90 degrees to left. A mouthpiece is installed in the oral cavity to protect teeth and the endoscope. After a few minutes, the physician inserts the endoscope through the mouth into the stomach. Depending on the patient’s condition, retching may occur, which is natural.
Although rare, a gastric puncture may occur, but these are small in size and can be corrected by a minor surgical operation.