Surviving My Upper GI Endoscopy
My Upper Endoscopy. It Really Wasn't Bad at All!
Yesterday, I had an upper endoscopy. I'm one of those types who really, really, REALLY likes to hear other personal experiences before undergoing something new. I guess surprises are not my thing. And, because I know there are others who like to know as well, I am sharing my upper endoscopy experience in hopes that it helps you know what to expect.
Have you had an upper endoscopy?
What Is an Upper Endoscopy?
that's what I wanted to know!
In an upper endoscopy, the doctor goes in through your mouth with an endoscope. This endoscope is a little video camera and light attached to a tube. With this camera, they can view the esophagus, stomach and the beginning of the small intestine. They are able to record the camera's journey and not only see it as it happens but view it in closer detail later. The doctor can also use this tube to take biopsies during the procedure.
Many patients are put out for the procedure but some are just given medication to relax. During the procedure, your vital signs are monitored as well. The entire procedure lasts maybe 15 minutes.
The Day of My Procedure
6:30am - Leave the house with one husband and two children in tow. Had been told not to eat or drink anything after midnight but it was still early so not hungry...yet.
7am - Sign in at the surgery center. I catch up on the news out in the lobby and snuggle with my daughter who is still pretty tired.
7:10am - I get called back for my procedure. Husband takes children out to breakfast.
7:15am - Take a pregnancy test. Hey, I know I'm not pregnant but they want to be certain. Change into hospital gown. Put all my clothes plus my purse and cell phone in large plastic bag and leave it on shelf under my bed.
7:20am - WooHoo...I'm not pregnant. Nurse asks me all type of questions. They want to know they usual. Am I taking any meds? Am I diabetic? Is somebody going to drive me home? That type of thing.
7:30am - A nurse hooks up my IV. Because I was not allowed to have any water this morning, not so easy! After doing a number of hand exercises and tying a tourniquet around my arm, she finally finds a good vein. Still...yowch! Just like to say, in all other situations, whenever possible, drink plenty of water before getting an IV!
7:35am - my anesthesiologist comes by to ask some questions. We verify that they are going in through my mouth and not the other end! It seemed important to me that they completely understood this! I've never had a tough time with anesthesia and he seemed happy with that. He said he'd see my again in the surgery room.
7:40am - find out doctor is running a bit late so chat with a few of the other patients. One other gal is waiting for the endoscopy. Two gentlemen are waiting for colonoscopies. We all agree that breakfast would be nice right about now. We verify with the nurses that, no, they haven't lost any patients from this procedure. That's a good thing!
8:30am - doctor is ready for me. My anesthesiologist says he is putting something in my IV to relax me. Oh boy, the room starts swimming. I assure the doctor as I am wheeled in the room that it's fine that he was running late and he should NOT feel pressured to rush. He assured me it was a lite day and he'd take his time.
8:35am - My anesthesiologist has me roll over onto my side and says that they are going to put me out now. That's the last thing I remember...
9:20am (or so...it's a bit fuzzy) - I hear somebody calling my name and wake up in the recovery room. Funny thing though, I'm sitting up in bed drinking a diet coke! The nurse, who I never saw before, asks me her name. I have no clue. She gives me her name and tells me she's already told me it! When I wonder? She also tells me that I asked for a diet coke about five minutes ago and have been talking for the last ten minutes. Not to worry, the Versed medication has an amniasiac effect. I asked her what exactly I had been talking about for ten minutes. She assured me that I just kept asking if they found anything and, for the fourth time, she was assuring me that she didn't know. She said I was very polite. Reassuring but, hmmmm...not sure how I feel about those lost ten minutes.
9:30am (or so...still fuzzy) - They tell me I can get dressed. I'm pretty groggy and have to hold onto the bed. Oh boy, all of a sudden nausea hits. They seat me in a wheelchair and give me one of those little tubs to get sick in. Although my stomach is turning and I'm having major tummy cramps, I manage not to get sick. They told me that nausea can happen due to the anesthesia and the cramps and stabbing pains are due to the air they pumped into my tummy. I asked to use the restroom where I got rid of as much of that air as possible (we'll leave it at that).
9:35am (maybe?) - the doctor comes over to my wheelchair, takes my hand and tells me that my stomach has too much acid and some other things. I don't really remember the rest except that I have a pretty substantial hiatal hernia. He gave me a prescription for an antacid and said to avoid any other over-the-counter antacids. I'll be taking this one twice a day until my appointment in two weeks. He also said something about finding out about my biopsies at that time but that is a bit of a blur too.
9:40 (or thereabouts) - I'm wheeled out to the car. My daughter gives me a big hug (love that girl!). I'm still battling nausea but not as intensely and we go home.
10:10am - I'm asleep in my own bed. Keep in mind, I'm anemic and it doesn't take much before I need a nap. Just spent the rest of the day resting. Was actually kind of nice.
Thoughts After the Procedure
I have to say, while worried about the procedure, it really wasn't a big deal. I'm glad I was put out for it. I can get a little claustrophobic at times and I think being awake would have been too much for me.
As mentioned, I did have a gassy tummy and intestines yesterday and, as a result, some stomach cramping. Once it all passed, though, I felt much better.
I was a little groggy and tired yesterday. Also, my vision was a bit blurry from the anesthesia. They said not to drive for 24 hours and I was fine with that.
Okay, I think this one is partially my fault. I had the start of a cold yesterday and a sore throat when I went in. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to reschedule. I just wanted this over with! So, today, my throat is really sore. I am sure that having the endoscope scrape against an already sore throat didn't do me any favors! So, today, I'm just gargling with warm salt water (it does help) and eating very soft foods. I've found that motrin, tea and cough drops are helping a lot!
I also have a bruise about the size of a half dollar with some swelling where they put the IV in hand. Didn't even realize it until I actually bumped my hand against my desk...yowch!
And, that was about it. Really, this was a pretty simple procedure. Yes, a few side effects but nothing unmanageable.
Watch the Procedure on YouTube
I wish I had watched this before my procedure. It really isn't bad at all!
If you had an upper endoscopy already, did you have a sore throat afterward?
Have you undergone an upper endoscopy or are you about to have one? I'd love to hear from you.