Endoscopies are usually carried out at local hospitals, although some larger GP surgeries may also offer the procedure.
Depending on what part of your body is being examined, you may be asked to avoid eating and drinking for several hours beforehand.
You may be given a laxative to help clear stools from your bowels if you're having a colonoscopy to examine the large intestine or a sigmoidoscopy to examine the rectum and lower part of the bowel.
In some cases, you may also need antibiotics to reduce the risk of an infection.
If you're taking a medicine to thin your blood, such as warfarin or clopidogrel , you may need to stop taking it for a few days before having an endoscopy. This is to prevent excessive bleeding during the procedure.
However, don't stop taking any prescribed medicine unless your GP or specialist advises you to do so.
An endoscopy isn't usually painful, and most people only experience some mild discomfort, similar to indigestion or a sore throat .
The procedure is usually carried out while you're conscious. You may be given a local anaesthetic to numb a specific area of your body. This may be in the form of a spray or lozenge tonumb your throat, for example.
You may also beoffered a sedative to help you relax and make you less aware of what's going on around you.
The endoscope will be carefullyinserted into your body. Exactly where it's inserted will depend on the part of your body being examined.
For example, it may be inserted into your:
If you're havingkeyhole surgery (laparoscopy) , the endoscope will be inserted into a small incision your surgeon makes in your skin.
An endoscopy usually takes between 15 and 60 minutes, depending on what it's being used for.It will usually be carried out on an outpatient basis, which means you won't have to stay in hospital overnight.
A wireless capsule endoscopy is a relatively new type of endoscopy. It involves swallowing a capsule that's able to wirelessly transmit images of the inside of your stomach and digestive system.
The capsule is the size of a large pill and leaves your body naturally when you go to the toilet.
It'soften used to investigate internal bleeding in the digestive system when there's no obvious cause.
There are some complications associated with wireless capsule endoscopy. Swallowing the capsule can be difficult, as can passing it naturally. The capsule can also get caught in the narrow areas of your bowel, causing a blockage.
After having an endoscopy, you'll probably need to rest for about an hour until the effects of the local anaesthetic or sedative have worn off.
If you decide to have a sedative, a friend or relative will need to take you home after the procedure.
If you've had a cystoscopy to examine your bladder, you may have blood in your urine for 24 hours afterwards. This should settle, but contact your GP if you still notice it after 24 hours.
Find out what an endoscopy is, including when it's used, how it's carried out, and the associated risks.
Endoscopies are usually carried out at local hospitals, although some larger GP surgeries may also offer the procedure. Before having an endoscopy Depending on what part of your body is being examin
An endoscopy is usually a safe procedure, and the risk of serious complications is very low. Possible complications include: an infection in a part of the body the endoscope is used to examine this
An endoscopy can be used to: investigate unusual symptoms help perform certain types of surgery An endoscope can also be used to remove a small sample of tissue for further analysis. This is know