Ensuring The Safety Of Your Endoscopic Procedure

During an endoscopic procedure, a doctor will use a long, mobile tube that is attached to a small camera. The device will enter the patient’s mouth or a different body cavity, and the physician can utilize an eyepiece or a large, color monitor to analyze a particular section of the person’s digestive system.

Types Of Procedures

Upper endoscopies require the practitioner to pass the tube through the patient’s mouth. These procedures allow the doctor to view the esophagus, the stomach, the small intestine and the duodenum.

When the physician lets the endoscope enter the patient’s rectum, the procedure is called a lower endoscopy. This process is used to analyze the colon and the large intestine.

In addition to endscopies of the digestive tract, doctors also use the same methods to view components of the respiratory system, the liver, the pancreas, the gall bladder, the inner part of a joint, the urinary tract and the uterus.

The Potential Problems

One major risk that is involved with an endoscopy of the digestive tract is perforation of the esophagus or the lining of the stomach. Sometimes, ripped stomach lining only requires the patient to receive intravenous medications and antibiotics; however, more serious situations will necessitate a surgical procedure.

According to numerous studies, bleeding occurs very rarely as a result of an endoscopy, and on average, only one person of every 1.8 million people who undergo the procedure become infected.

Ensuring Safety By Preparing The Instrument

One endoscope can be utilized for thousands of procedures. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, or ASGE, has created a list of the most effective methods for cleaning the medical equipment, and this compilation of practices has been endorsed by countless, independent medical associations and is used by tens of thousands of doctors worldwide.

Cleaning The Endoscope

First, hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid are allowed to pass through the hollow channel of the equipment. Next, the outer part of the tube and the camera are dipped in liquid that contains several enzymes that are able to swiftly remove any bacteria.

These compounds are also capable of eliminating viruses that can spread diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis. After the initial cleanse, only spores, which are inactive microorganisms, may remain on the device. Countless studies have indicated that spores do not harm humans.

After the enzymes are used, the equipment is placed in alcohol to remove any remaining bacteria. In some hospitals, the device is dipped in ethylene acid and soaks for approximately 12 hours. Finally, the endoscope is washed in glutaraldehyde for at least 20 minutes.

Until the next procedure, the device is placed on a unique hanger to ensure that it does not come into contact with any other instruments or surfaces.

Finding Leaks

The doctor will use a special machine to determine whether or not any air or liquids are seeping from the endoscope’s tube.

Preparing The Patient

Most physicians will require the individual to not eat any solid foods for eight hours before the endoscopy. If a person has ingested food prior to the procedure, the patient may experience aspiration, which is the movement of digested substances from the stomach to the lower respiratory tract.

The Sedatives

In the United States, doctors require the patient to be anesthetized during 80 percent of all endoscopies.

When you first the enter the room, instruments that are able to monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and the function of your respiratory system will be attached to your body. It is normal to have an elevated heart rate before the endoscopy due to the apprehension of undergoing an unfamiliar procedure.


Most practitioners use two or three medications simultaneously during the procedure. The physician may administer an anxiolytic drug, amnestic medications that can eliminate the patient’s memory of the procedure and barbiturates that have a short and a long duration of action.

In 2013, benzodiazepines were used frequently by physicians, and the most commonly utilized medication in this class was midazolam.

Furthermore, the doctor will provide opioid painkillers.

Using A Drainage Tube

When the patient is asleep, the doctor may utilize a device that will remove any extra fluids or mucous from the individual’s throat.

ECG Monitoring

During an endoscopy, most patients are connected to an ECG device. This equipment is able to detect any abnormalities in the heart’s rhythm, and it can alert the physician if the heart is not receiving enough blood, which is called a cardiac ischaemia.


Several years ago, the use of oxygen masks during endoscopies became a standard procedure.

A Pulse Oximeter

This newly developed device features a diode that emits light and has a sensor with the ability to measure the amount of red light and infrared light that the hemoglobin in the patient’s blood is able to absorb. The reading allows the physician to determine the amount of oxygen that is within the person’s blood.

If the level of oxygen drops below 96 percent, the equipment will sound an alarm, and the practitioner can increase the amount of oxygen that the individual is receiving or administer a medication swiftly to remedy the situation.

After The Endoscopy

For the remaining part of the day, the patient should not drink alcohol, use machines, cook, take sedative drugs that could increase the lingering effects of the other medications, sign any legal documents or make major financial decisions.