Digestive diseases are a group of conditions that affect the digestive system, which is responsible for breaking down and absorbing the nutrients from our food. Some common digestive diseases include acid reflux, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. These conditions can cause various symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, and weight loss.
Endoscopy is a medical procedure that involves inserting a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera at the end into the body to examine the digestive tract. The procedure is a valuable tool for diagnosing and treating digestive disorders, and allows your doctor to see problems within your body without making large incisions.
There are several types of endoscopy, including upper endoscopy, colonoscopy, and sigmoidoscopy.
Types of endoscopy
- Upper endoscopy: This procedure is performed by passing the endoscope down the oesophagus to diagnose and treat conditions such as acid reflux, ulcers, and blockages in the upper digestive tract.
- Colonoscopy: This procedure involves passing the endoscope through the rectum into the large intestine or colon to allow the doctor to examine the large intestine, including the colon and rectum.
- Endoscopic biopsy: Your doctor may also require an endoscope procedure to take a biopsy sample of your digestive tract for investigation.
Why do I need an endoscopy?
There are several reasons why a person might need to undergo an endoscopy. Some of them are:
- To help your doctor diagnose any abnormal symptoms.
- To remove a small sample of tissue for further testing.
- To help your doctor see inside the body during a surgical procedure.
Other common indications for endoscopy include:
- Unexplained bleeding in the digestive tract.
- Abdominal pain.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Persistent heartburn or acid reflux.
- Blockage of the oesophagus.
- Persistent diarrhoea or constipation.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Family history of gastrointestinal cancers.
Endoscopy is a procedure performed on an outpatient basis. It is usually carried out under conscious sedation.
The procedure usually takes 40 minutes to an hour, depending on which examination is being carried out and may require you to fast for specific periods.
Your doctor will give you complete preparation instructions and what to steer clear of before your test. You may also be given laxatives to use the night before the procedure to clear out your system.
What happens after an endoscopy?
After the endoscopy, your doctor will discuss the findings with you and provide you with any necessary treatment recommendations. If the procedure involved a biopsy, your doctor would send it to a laboratory for testing and schedule a follow-up appointment.
Also, it is not uncommon to experience uncomfortable symptoms such as a sore throat afterwards. These side effects are common and should go away within 24 hours.
How to book a test
To book your test, click on the link here, or send a Whatsapp message to 2348084295796.
Alternatively, walk into any of our health centres near you for immediate testing.
Till our next blog, stay healthy and book all your health check and diagnostics tests here.