Endoscopy in Hattiesburg, MS
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What is an endoscopy?
An endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure the gastroenterologists at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC perform to assess and diagnose issues in the upper digestive system. Using a device called an endoscope (a pliable, thin tube with a camera and light attached), your GI doctor is able to get a detailed, real-time view of what's happening in your esophagus, stomach, and the upper part of your small intestine (duodenum). To learn more about how our providers conduct endoscopy procedures in Hattiesburg, MS patients, request a consultation with our team today.
What is an endoscopy used to diagnose?
Our GI physicians commonly use endoscopy exams to diagnose ailments impacting the upper portion of the GI tract. We may also carry out an endoscopy to treat certain conditions. Endoscopic procedures are most often recommended for patients experiencing the following symptoms:
- Unexplained or unintended weight loss
- Acid reflux (heartburn)
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Pain in the stomach
- Nausea and vomiting
We also perform endoscopy tests for patients in Hattiesburg, MS to confirm or rule out disorders like:
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Tightening (strictures) of the esophagus
- GI obstructions
- Peptic ulcer disease
- Barrett's esophagus (a result of long-term acid reflux damage)
- Celiac disease (intolerance to gluten)
- Some cancers that affect the GI tract
Finally, endoscopy procedures can also be used to conduct other kinds of tests, including biopsies. To learn more about how an endoscopy may help diagnose your GI condition, request a consultation with a provider at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC.
What preparations are needed for an endoscopy?
Your Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC specialist will provide you with detailed instructions on how to prepare for your endoscopy procedure. It is vital that you listen to and follow the guidelines your provider gives you to minimize the risk of complications during the procedure. Generally speaking, patients are advised not to take anything by mouth after midnight on the day of their exam except for required medications. Most medications can be continued as prescribed, but you may receive different instructions, depending on your circumstances. Special directions will be provided for patients taking blood thinners and those who are diabetic.
What will happen during the endoscopy?
You will need to arrive at the endoscopy center 1 – 1.5 hours before your exam. You will then change into a medical gown. A member of our team will place an intravenous (IV) catheter into your arm, allowing us to administer the sedative for the procedure. You will also be hooked up to various medical devices that will enable our staff to track your vitals — including heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and oxygen levels — throughout the exam and while you're recovering.
After being set up in your test room, you will be directed to lie down on your left side on our exam table. We will begin to administer the IV sedative at this point, using small doses to ensure your safety. Your gastroenterologist will insert the endoscope through your mouth and gently guide it through your upper GI tract, injecting a tiny amount of air to help them see any signs of problems. Based on what they see, they may also use this opportunity to conduct further testing or procedures such as biopsies, widening of the esophagus, or measures to manage bleeding. When the exam is complete, the doctor will again use the scope to suction out as much air and fluid as possible. Depending on what all needs to be done, the full procedure usually takes 15 – 45 minutes.
What happens after the endoscopy?
After the procedure, a member of our team will take you to a separate room to recover and wait for the IV sedative to wear off. Your recovery time will vary according to the dosage of sedative administered and your body's reaction to it, but the majority of individuals are alert enough to be discharged within 45 – 60 minutes after the exam. It will be unsafe for you to drive for the remainder of the day, so plan to have someone give you a ride back home. You will also want to avoid doing anything too strenuous, working, or signing important documents for the rest of the day. Most of our patients are able to consume food and drinks as normal once they leave the endoscopy location, but your GI physician may provide tailored instructions for you regarding eating, exercise, and taking medications.
When the test is done, your gastroenterologist will go over the results with you. Because you'll still be feeling the effects of the sedation, it's unlikely you'll remember the details of this discussion. If you can, try to bring someone else with you to sit in on this conversation. We will also provide a hard copy of the report for you to take home. Biopsy results are usually available within a week or so.
Get comprehensive care for your upper GI disorder
If you're living with pain or discomfort in your upper GI tract, an endoscopy is a great way for our providers at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC to assess and begin treatment for your condition. We routinely perform endoscopy procedures for Hattiesburg, MS patients, and we'd be happy to discuss this exam and other diagnostic procedures for GI ailments with you. Contact one of our two convenient locations to learn more.
I've used Dr. Farmer for my Colonoscopy/ Endoscopy for many years. I trust Dr. Farmer and his team to perform these procedures accurately and throughly. They're awesome.