Some of the risks or potential complications to this procedure include:
- Bloating, gas, or cramping from air used to inflate the stomach and small intestine during the procedure
- Coughing or breathing difficulty if the stomach isn’t completely empty
- Some problems might be hard to see if your child’s stomach is not empty or your child’s body has been changed (such as when a portion of intestine has been removed)
- Stomach or intestine wall injury (very rare), which can cause infection, bleeding, or possibly need for repair surgery
- Reaction to the sedation or numbing anesthesia [an-uh s-thee-zhuh]
The potential benefits of an endoscopy include:
- The doctor can see things that don’t show up well on x-rays pictures
- Some problems can be treated during the procedure
- Tissue samples can be taken for biopsy, if needed
- Give your doctor a list of all the medicines your child is taking. Be sure to include over-the-counter medicines (such as cold or allergy medicine), vitamin supplements, inhalers, liquid medicines, and patches.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions concerning your child’s medicines. Some medicines can increase your child’s risk of bleeding. Your child might need to stop taking them for a few days before the procedure.
- Follow all instructions on when your child needs to stop eating and drinking before the procedure. This will help avoid complications and ensure that the doctor can see any problems clearly.
Before the procedure:
- In most cases, your child will be given a sedative to help them relax. The sedative is given through an intravenous [in-truh-vee-nuh s] line, also called an IV, inserted into a vein in your child’s arm.
- Your child’s doctor or nurse may also spray their throat with a local anesthetic (pain medicine) to keep your child from coughing or gagging when the endoscope is inserted. A mouth guard may be used to protect your child’s teeth and the endoscope.
During the procedure:
- Your child will be asked to lie on their left side while the doctor inserts the endoscope through their mouth and into their esophagus, stomach, and first part of the intestine. The endoscope is thinner than most food we swallow, so your child should be able to breathe normally.
- The camera at the tip of the endoscope sends images of these organs to a monitor. The scope puts air into these organs to inflate them, creating a better view.
- The doctor can also insert instruments through the scope to treat bleeding abnormalities, remove tissue samples (biopsies) for further tests, or help widen openings. Your child won’t be able to feel the biopsies.
After the procedure:
- Your child will stay at the facility until they are partially recovered from the sedative. This usually takes about an hour. It will take several hours (up to a full day) for the sedative to completely wear off.
- If throat spray is used, it can take up to 45 minutes to wear off. Your child will not be able to drink anything until it does.
- Your child may have a sore throat for a day or two.
- Depending on what your doctor can see and the results, your child may need follow-up procedures. Talk with your child’s doctor to make sure you understand the follow-up requirements.