GIDOCJHB is based at Milpark hospital in Johannesburg.
We offer diagnosis and treatment for individuals suffering from diseases of the esophagus, bowel, liver, and pancreas.
We take care in providing our patients with high-quality care of endoscopic procedures from diagnosis to treatment, and we are always seeking to grow our knowledge of industry equipment and advances in the field to provide you with the best care possible.
What Is An Upper Endoscopy?
An endoscopy is a medical procedure that allows a gastroenterologist to view the inside of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine.
It involves using a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope that has a tiny camera and light installed, which allows to view images on a video monitor.
Why is Upper Endoscopy Done?
Gastroenterologists can recommend an endoscopy to be scheduled for 3 main reasons. Usually, its to diagnose symptoms, monitor illnesses, or treatment of disease.
Endoscopies are very effective for screening and preventing cancer as they can be used to obtain small tissue samples to observe between benign and malignant (cancerous) tissues.
Its recommended to discuss why you need to undergo an endoscopy beforehand, so you also understand the importance, goals, and expectations for the procedure.
What Symptoms Does Endoscopy Help To Evaluate?
Aside from heartburn, endoscopy may also be used for:
- Inflammation, ulcers, and tumors
- Upper abdominal pain
- Swallowing disorders
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach bleeding
Upper endoscopy can be more accurate than X-rays or other imaging for detecting abnormal growths and for examining the inside of the upper digestive system.
How do you Prepare for Endoscopy?
- A gastroenterologist will guide you step by step on what pre-measures to take and abide by.
- You may be asked to sign a form that gives you consent and permission for the procedure.
- If you take any medications it’s recommended to mention this before your prep starts.
- You will be asked to not drink or eat anything on the day of your test.
- If you have a history of any bleeding disorders, you should let your GI doctor know.
- You may be asked to take a laxative and enema or have to drink a certain fluid to help clean out your bowels.
- You will be asked to remove clothing, jewelry, or any objects that can obstruct the procedure, and change into something more comfortable and loose, such as a gown
- You won’t feel any discomfort throughout your procedure as you will be sedated
- Tissue samples may be collected for a biopsy to test for diseases and other conditions or cancers affecting the digestive system.
- After numbing your throat and once you feel relaxed after your sedative, a thin flexible tube will be inserted in your mouth and throat until it reaches your duodenum
- Once your gastroenterologist is satisfied he or she has performed the necessary procedure, the tube will be taken out of your mouth.
- Following your procedure, you will be observed. Once you are alert, stable, and breathing fine again, you can be discharged.
- You should have someone drive you home afterward as you’ll still be feeling drowsy.
- If you feel gassy or pain in your throat for a few days after your discharge, this is normal.
- You can return to your normal activities and diet the next day unless otherwise instructed
- If you experience any chills or fever, swelling, bleeding, black or bloody stools, trouble swallowing or if your chest pain gets worse, contact your gastroenterologist immediately.
Risks and Side Effects
Endoscopy is generally regarded as a safe procedure, however, as with any procedure, there are risks involved and potential complications, such as:
- Minor internal bleeding
- Cramping and bloating
- Shortness of breath
- Vomiting blood
- Complications related to preexisting conditions
Endoscopy Frequently Asked Questions
Can I eat the day before my procedure?
General instructions are to not eat any solids for at least 8 hours before your procedure. Clear liquids are allowed only up until 4 hours prior. Also, no chewing gum the day before or on.
Should I brush my teeth on the day of my procedure?
Yes, please do.
Can I drink alcoholic beverages the day before and the day of my procedure?
Please refrain from drinking any alcohol for at least 48 hours before your procedure. Alcohol can cause dehydration and some wines can thin your blood, which can also make your procedure riskier.
Can I go back to work after the procedure?
It’s recommended to have 24 hours rest at home away from any stressful, physical, or mental activities to allow for the sedation or pain reliever to wear off.
What should I bring with me when I come for my procedure?
On the day of your procedure, please bring the following:
- Name and contact details of a family member or friend who will be driving you home
- Name and contact details of your General Practitioner
- Medical aid card or number
- Health history and a list of current medications
How long will the procedure take?
An endoscopy procedure usually takes between 45 to 90 minutes.
Can I have chicken soup?
No noodles, chicken, or vegetables should be eaten at least 8 hours before your procedure, however, you can have broth.
When can I get the test results?
Your gastroenterologist will first study your results and then it will be explained to you before you leave. If a biopsy was taken during the procedure, it will be sent to the lab for further testing, and your GI doctor will discuss these further results with you once received.
What if I need to cancel my procedure?
If you need to cancel or postpone your procedure for any reason, please call us to reschedule.
What if I am on an antibiotic?
This should not interfere with your procedure. Please notify your GI beforehand to confirm.
Where is the procedure done?
An endoscopy is performed in a private procedure room.
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.