Endoscopy: When to seek medical advice?

Updated at: Jan 18, 2013
Endoscopy: When to seek medical advice?

Endoscopy is a common and safe medical procedure but complications can occur. Consult your doctor if you develop any signs and symptoms suggestive of complications after an endoscopy such as black or dark coloured stools, blood in stool or vomitin

Dr Poonam Sachdev
Other DiseasesWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: Jul 06, 2011

Endoscopy is a procedure to examine the inside of a person's body using a device called  endoscope. It is a common and safe medical procedure when performed by a doctor who is well trained to perform these procedures, and the instances of complications are extremely rare. Some minor complications which can occur include localised irritation of the vein where the medicine was administered, reaction to the sedatives or other medication used, complications from pre-existing diseases of the heart, lung, or liver, bleeding from the site of a biopsy, or removal of a polyp, which may cause bleeding but it is, in most cases minor and rarely requires transfusions or surgery, and infection.

Major complications such as perforation (punching a hole through the oesophagus, stomach, or duodenum) or severe bleeding are rare. Some complication may become evident immediately and some may develop over time. Before you leave the hospital, discuss regarding sign or symptoms which are suggestive of complications and may require a consultation, or visit the accident and emergency (A&E) department without delay.

Consult your doctor if you develop one or more of the following signs and symptoms suggestive of complications after an endoscopy:

  • black or dark coloured stools
  • blood in stool or vomiting
  • blood in urine
  • difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath
  • severe and persistent abdominal pain
  • chest pain
  • signs of infection such as fever, redness of skin, pain, tenderness (pain on touch), swelling,  discharge of fluids or pus from the site where endoscope was inserted (such as skin over the joint after arthroscopy is done to examine the joint)
  • high fever (temperature of 380C or 100.4F or above)
  • feeling giddy and lightheaded with trouble in breathing.

Consult your doctor if you have questions or concerns about endoscopy, your illness, or any medicine. If there is significant bleeding, consult your doctor immediately.


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