Tuesday, June 1, 2010

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS OF ENDOSCOPY


Endoscopy is safe. Complications can occur but they are rare when the test is performed by doctors with specialised training and experience in the procedure. Bleeding may occur from a biopsy site, or where a polyp has been removed. This is usually minimal and rarely requires blood transfusions or surgery. Localised irritation of the vein where the medication was injected may cause a tender lump lasting for several weeks but this will go away eventually. Applying heat packs or hot, moist towels may help relieve discomfort. Other potential risks include a reaction to the sedatives/anaesthetic used and complications from heart or lung disease. Major complications, eg. perforation (a tear that may require surgery for repair) are very uncommon and occur less often than once in 10,000 tests. It is important for you to recognise early signs of any possible complications. If you begin to run a fever after the test, begin to have trouble swallowing, or have increasing throat, chest or abdominal pain, let your doctor know about it promptly or contact your local Emergency Department.

You will need to arrange to have someone accompany you home from the examination.

Do not:

• Drive a car
• Work machinery
• Consume alcohol
• Sign legal documents
• Make important decisions

Until the following day.

If any of your questions have not been answered here, please feel free to discuss them with the endoscopy nurse or your doctor before the procedure begins.

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