Upper GI Endoscopy and Colonoscopy

What is an upper GI endoscopy and colonoscopy?

An upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy is a procedure to look at the inside of your oesophagus (gullet), stomach and duodenum using a flexible telescope (see figure 1).

A colonoscopy is a procedure to look at the inside of your large bowel (colon) using a flexible telescope.

What are the benefits of an upper GI endoscopy and colonoscopy?

If your doctor is concerned that you may have a problem in your digestive system, then an upper GI endoscopy and colonoscopy is a good way of finding out if there is a problem.

Are there any alternatives to an upper GI endoscopy and colonoscopy?

One alternative to an Upper GI Endoscopy is a barium meal. This is an x-ray test of your upper digestive system.

Alternatives to a colonoscopy include; a barium enema (an x-ray test of your large bowel) or a CT colonography (a scan of your large bowel).

What does an Upper GI Endoscopy & Colonoscopy involve?

An upper GI endoscopy and colonoscopy usually take about an hour.

If appropriate, the endoscopist may offer you a sedative or painkiller.

The endoscopist will place a flexible telescope (endoscope) into the back of your throat and down into your stomach. From here the endoscope will pass into your duodenum.

A colonoscopy involves placing a flexible telescope into your back passage and blowing some air into your large bowel to get a clear view.

The endoscopist will be able to look for problems, such as; inflammation, ulcers or polyps. They will be able to perform biopsies and take photographs to help make a diagnosis.

What complications can happen?

  • Sore throat,
  • Breathing difficulties or heart irregularities,
  • Allergic reaction,
  • Infection,
  • Blurred vision,
  • Making a hole in your oesophagus, stomach, duodenum or colon,
  • Damage to teeth or bridgework,
  • Bleeding,
  • Incomplete procedure.

How soon will I recover from an Upper GI Endoscopy & Colonoscopy?

If you were given a sedative, you will usually recover in about two hours.

You may feel a bit bloated for a few hours but this will pass.

You should be able to return to work the next day unless you are told otherwise.

The healthcare team will tell you what was found during the procedure and discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.

Regular exercise should improve your long-term health. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

Summary

An upper GI endoscopy and colonoscopy is usually a safe and effective way of finding out if there is a problem with your digestive system.

 

For more information on Upper GI Endoscopy & Colonoscopy at New Victoria Hospital, please fill out a contact form or call us on 020 8949 9020

 

Acknowledgements

Author: Prof Simon Parsons DM FRCS (Gen. Surg.) and Mr Jonathan Lund DM FRCS (Gen. Surg.)

Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright © Medical-Artist.com

The operation and treatment information on this website is published under license by New Victoria Hospital from EIDO Healthcare UK and is protected by copyright laws. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.


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