Thursday, 16 March 2017

Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy Procedure

Your procedure will be carried out in the Endoscopy Procedure Room. We will make you comfortable on a trolley, lying on your left side. A nurse will stay with you throughout the test, explaining what is happening, monitoring your blood pressure and pulse, level of comfort and assisting the doctor. You will be given oxygen during the test, through little prongs that fit just inside your nostrils.

The procedure may be unpleasant and, at times uncomfortable. Some patients want to try to have the procedure carried out without any sedation. Others will use ‘gas and air’ (entonox) for the colonoscopy part of the procedure. This will make them feel more comfortable and relaxed. Alternatively you can have a sedative, given through a small needle placed in a vein on the back of your hand. Some patients sleep but you can watch the procedure on the screen if you wish. You may also receive some pain relief during the procedure. 

During the procedure the doctor may take tissue samples (biopsies), photographs or video of your digestive tract, even if it all looks normal. The procedure can take up to one hour to perform.

You may have a local anaesthetic spray on the back of your throat to numb the area and enable you to swallow the  gastroscope more easily. To keep your mouth slightly open, a plastic mouthpiece will be put gently between your teeth. The doctor will carefully pass the gastroscope through your mouth and into your stomach. This should not cause you any discomfort, nor will it interfere with your breathing at any time. During this time some air and then water will be passed down the tube to expand your stomach and allow the doctor a clearer view. If you get a lot of saliva in your mouth, the nurse will clear it using a small suction tube. When the examination is finished the gastroscope is removed quickly and easily.

The doctor will carefully pass the colonoscope through your bottom (anus) into your rectum and on into your colon. You may experience some abdominal cramping and pressure from the air which is introduced into your colon to help the doctor get a clearer view of your bowel. This is normal and will pass quickly. You may get the sensation of wanting to go to the toilet, but as the bowel is empty, there is no danger of this happening. This may also make you need to pass wind and, although this may be embarrassing, remember the staff do understand what is causing it. The air is sucked out at the end of the test. We will try to keep you as comfortable as possible. 

You may also be asked to change position during the procedure, and will be helped by a nurse. The nurse may need to press on your abdomen for a few moments during the procedure to help the colonoscope around awkward bends in your bowel. You will be warned before any pressure is applied. When the examination is finished, the colonoscope is removed quickly and easily

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