Risks of getting Endoscopy done

By  , Expert Content
Jul 06, 2011

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Endoscopy is a safe procedure with a low risk of complications (less than 1 in 100). But like any other medical procedure, there are some complications that can occur when endoscopy is done.

Some complications of an endoscopy include:

  • Infection: Infection can occur in the part of the body where the endoscope is used. If an infection develops after endoscopy, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics. Some signs of infection in the area of your body where the endoscope was inserted include redness of skin, pain, tenderness (pain on touch), swelling, or discharge of fluids or pus. Most infections are cured with antibiotics.
  • Perforation (piercing or tearing) of an organ: Perforation can occur in that part of the body on which endoscope is used. If a tear occurs in any part of the body (such as oesophagus or another part of your upper digestive tract) you may need to be hospitalised. If the perforation is large, it may require surgery to repair it.
  • Excessive bleeding: The risk of bleeding after endoscopy is higher if a piece of tissue is removed for testing (biopsy) or for treating a digestive system problem. If significant bleeding occurs, you may require a blood transfusion.
  • Allergic reaction to the anaesthetic: Although it is rare, some people may develop allergic reaction to anaesthesia. In case of an allergic reaction, you may be given antihistamines. If the reaction is severe you may be given life saving drugs such as adrenaline, hydrocortisone or any other to control the allergic reaction.

Some signs and symptoms suggestive of complications after an endoscopy include:

  • black or dark coloured stools
  • blood in stool or vomiting
  • difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath
  • severe and persistent abdominal pain
  • chest pain
  • high fever (temperature of 380C or 100.4F or above).

If you develop any sign or symptoms suggestive of some complication after endoscopy, consult your doctor or visit the accident and emergency (A&E) department of your local hospital without delay.


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