How does the patient experience the examination?
How the patient experiences endoscopy and what to look for depends very much on the type of endoscopic examination he has to undergo. Some involve so much effort that the patient is put under general anesthesia, as in laparoscopy. Others can do without anesthetic procedures, such as the uterine reflection.
In the most common form of endoscopy, gastric and / or colonoscopy, the endoscope is inserted through the mouth or anus. The area is treated with a local anesthetic to prevent pain from irritation. The stomach or intestine must be free from food debris, which is why the patient may not eat any more for some time before the examination and, in the case of colonoscopy, may also be given laxatives.
Both examinations often take place after the administration of a tranquilizer, which reduces the sensation of pain and anxiety but allows the patient to respond to instructions (analgosedation). If such a remedy is administered, you must not drive your car or operate machinery. It should also be noted that the stomach is not overwhelmed with too much food. Precise information on what to pay attention to in the respective endoscopic examinations is given by the attending physician.
New endoscopic techniques
It is usually not very pleasant to endure an endoscopic examination, even though the devices are now quite small and flexible. But the resourceful developers in medical technology are already on their way: In the "virtual endoscopy" you do not need an endoscope, but by combining x-ray examination methods such as X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging and special computers, a virtual 3D image of the organ to be examined is generated, The doctor can then, as in endoscopy, move on the screen through the inner worlds of the body without actually introducing an endoscope to the patient. Disadvantage of this technique is that no tissue can be removed for examination.
Virtual endoscopy is possible in principle for every cavity of the body - air-containing spaces such as the stomach and intestines, sinuses or inner ear, and fluid-filled spaces such as vessels or bronchi. The most common is the virtual colonoscopy.
Another pleasant technique for endoscopic imaging of the gastrointestinal tract is the so-called capsule endoscopy. Here, the patient swallows a capsule containing a miniature camera, a transmitter and a battery. It travels through the gastrointestinal tract, sending two images of its camera per second to a recipient whom the patient carries. At the same time he can pursue his daily activities as normal. After the endoscopy the pictures are put together by the doctor on a computer into a "film". The capsule is excreted and not reused. Another advantage of this method is that it allows the visualization of the small intestine, which is largely inaccessible to other endoscopic techniques.