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What is a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that enables a physician to thoroughly examine the interior of the colon for any abnormalities or diseases.
Primarily recommended for individuals aged 45 and above, a colonoscopy serves as a valuable screening tool for colon and rectal cancer. It is also employed for patients exhibiting symptoms that necessitate further medical investigation. Furthermore, this procedure can effectively detect and treat various other issues, including colon polyps, tumors, ulcerations, inflammation, diverticula, and constricted areas within the colon.
Basically, the significance of a colonoscopy is that it acts as a preventive measure against potentially life-threatening conditions.
How Does A Colonoscopy Work?
In a colonoscopy procedure, a lengthy and flexible tube known as a colonoscope is carefully inserted into the patient’s colon and then advanced through it. Equipped with a light source and a camera on one end, the colonoscope effectively captures and transmits high-resolution images of the colon’s lining to a monitor. This enables the doctor to thoroughly examine the images for any potential abnormalities or irregularities. On average, this procedure typically takes between 30 to 60 minutes to complete.
What is a Gastroscopy?
A gastroscopy, also referred to as an upper endoscopy, is a medical procedure that enables a physician to thoroughly examine the upper portion of the digestive system, encompassing the throat, esophagus (food pipe), and stomach. This procedure not only allows for a detailed examination of the digestive system, but it can also be used to remove tissue samples for further testing (biopsy) and to treat certain conditions, such as stomach ulcers.
How Does A Gastroscopy Work?
The gastroscopy procedure typically spans a duration of approximately 5 to 10 minutes, ensuring a relatively swift experience for patients. It is important to note that this process is generally not painful, although patients may experience bloating or nausea. To alleviate any discomfort, patients have the option to request medication that will numb their throat and induce a state of relaxation during the procedure.
Following the completion of the gastroscopy, patients will be transferred to a designated recovery room. Once they feel sufficiently well, they will be able to return home. It is worth mentioning that complications arising from a gastroscopy are exceedingly rare. However, patients are encouraged to engage in open dialogue with their doctor should any concerns or questions regarding the procedure arise.
Gastroscopy and colonoscopy
Gastroscopy is an endoscopic examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract: esophagus, stomach and duodenum, involving the insertion of a flexible tube equipped with a light source and a system transmitting an image from the inside of the body. The test takes about 5-10 minutes and is performed under local or throat intravenous anesthesia.
Colonoscopy is an endoscopic examination of the large intestine – that is, the lower gastrointestinal tract, consisting in the introduction of a special speculum through the anus with a camera and the image being sent outside.
Symptoms of Stomach Problems That Need a Colonoscopy
Common symptoms of stomach problems that may require a colonoscopy for an accurate diagnosis of the underlying condition include abdominal pain, gas, or bloating. These symptoms often indicate digestive issues that can range from minor discomfort to more severe conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or colon cancer. Persistent abdominal pain should be taken seriously, especially when accompanied by changes in bowel movements such as diarrhea, constipation, or a combination of both. In such cases, undergoing a colonoscopy is highly recommended for a thorough evaluation.
Symptoms of Stomach Problems That Need a Gastroscopy
Stomach symptoms that necessitate a gastroscopy are often indicative of an underlying medical condition. These symptoms may include frequent abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss, recurrent vomiting or nausea, difficulty swallowing, or the presence of blood in vomit or stool. These symptoms can be a sign of various conditions, such as peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Barrett’s esophagus, gastritis, or even malignancies like stomach or esophageal cancer.
When Does The Need For a Colonoscopy or Gastroscopy Arise ?
Gastroscopy is a procedure that can be used to check for stomach problems. Symptoms that may warrant further investigation include recurring stomach pain, unexplained weight loss, frequent episodes of vomiting or nausea, difficulty swallowing, or the presence of blood in vomit or stool.
These symptoms can be indicative of several conditions, including peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Barretts esophagus, gastritis, or even malignancies such as stomach or esophageal cancer. It is important to recognize that when these stomach symptoms arise, they should not be taken lightly. Seeking medical attention and undergoing a gastroscopy can help identify the root cause of these symptoms and enable appropriate treatment.
The decision to undergo a gastroscopy typically hinges on the presence of symptoms such as rectal bleeding, alterations in bowel habits, abdominal pain or discomfort, unexplained weight loss, persistent heartburn, or difficulty swallowing. However, it is important to seek guidance from a medical professional who can evaluate individual risk factors and offer personalized recommendations based on medical history and current health status.
What to Expect Before, During, and After a Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy
Before, during, and after gastroscopy and colonoscopy, patients can expect the following:
Before the Procedure:
Doctors will advise specific instructions to help patients prepare for their procedure. This may include being on a clear liquid diet for 24 hours prior to the procedure and discontinuing certain medications about a week in advance.
During the Procedure:
Patients will likely receive a sedative to help them relax and better tolerate any discomfort. They will lie on their side or back while the doctor advances a flexible tube through their digestive system to examine the lining. The entire procedure usually takes 45 to 60 minutes, although patients should plan on two to three hours for waiting, preparation, and recovery.
After the Procedure:
Patients may experience some cramping, bloating, or a sore throat after the procedure. If sedatives were administered, patients should not drive and should arrange for someone to accompany them home, as the sedatives may affect their judgment and reflexes for the rest of the day. Patients should feel back to normal within 30 minutes to an hour after the procedure.
The physician will explain the results of the examination to the patient, although they may have to wait for the results of any biopsies performed. Patients should seek medical care if they experience symptoms such as fever, chest pain, shortness of breath, bloody, black, or very dark colored stool, difficulty swallowing, severe or persistent abdominal pain, or vomiting. If a biopsy or polyp removal was performed, the doctor may recommend a special diet.
Patients may experience a small amount of bleeding, such as spotting on the toilet paper or small drops in the toilet bowl, after the procedure. This bleeding usually subsides quickly.
The endoscopy studio has very good video-endoscopic equipment from Pentax.
During the examination, it is possible to collect diagnostic material (so-called biopsy) for histopathological examination to assess possible changes and exclude cancer.
In the case of gastroscopy, a test for Helicobacter Pylori is also performed, which may be responsible for recurrent gastritis and duodenitis. In the case of colonoscopy, however, it is possible to perform minor procedures, such as the removal of individual polyps or angiectasia (vascular lesions responsible for bleeding).
Tests can be performed under short-term general anesthesia, under the care of an anesthesiologist.
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