So what does it mean? Its a procedure where a gastroenterologist looks at my esophagus and stomach with a flexible scope attached to micro video equipment.
At long last, I'm on the road to discovering why I've had chronic acid reflux (or GERD, if you want to get technical) for years. Tomorrow I'm getting an esophagastroduodenoscopy.
I love this part of the paperwork I was given to prepare for the procedure:
There are always some risks to any endoscopic examination. The
complications of upper endoscopy include, but are not limited to perforation (a
hole in the food pipe or the stomach that may require surgery to be fixed),
infection, bleeding (which may require a blood transfusion), drug reactions, and even death.
My brother-in-law, Eldon, had this procedure just last week and did fine. So I'm not to worried about the procedure itself ... and the doctor performing the procedure is very nice.
I'll let ya'll know how it goes!
An update: The procedure went fine (aside from having a nurse who was snippy with me because 1) I had been chewing gum - nobody told me not to and 2) I had eaten a small meal before 8:30am that morning - that was the instructions from my Dr. Typically a patient isn't instructed to eat after midnight the night before. Well, my doctor told me to eat ... so I did.) Apparently my esophagus is "normal." Two polyps were removed for biopsy (which I'm hoping is standard procedure and nothing to get concerned over). Yesterday (4/8), I had a barium swallow test at the hospital. The technician commented that I had "a little reflux." My next Dr. appt. is on 4/21, so I'll find out the results of the biopsy and my doctor's interpretation of the barium swallow test.
More information on the procedure: I've noticed several people have arrived at this blog posting by doing a Google search for "Esophagogastroduodenoscopy" (which is really an impressive word to say ... so learn how to pronounce it and amaze your friends, family and co-workers!), so I wanted to provide the details of my own experience so anybody facing this procedure knows what to expect (because fear of the unknown just stinks!).
First: You will be unconscious during this procedure, so you will need to have somebody bring you and take you home.
My procedure was scheduled at 1:30pm. I was told by the nurse at the gastroenterologist's office that I could have 1 boiled egg and one piece of dry white toast before 8:30am. Nothing was said to me about not taking medication, so I took my daily Aciphex pill, as usual.
I hate having a dry, stale mouth ... so I was chewing gum when I arrived at the hospital. The nurse saw me toss it and just about had a fit. She informed me I wasn't supposed to "eat anything" prior to the procedure (um, since when does chewing gum constitute "eating" something?). She then asked me if I ate breakfast ... and when I told her I did indeed eat breakfast, she just about had a fit again. I informed her I was TOLD to eat. She also got cranky when I told her I took an Aciphex pill with my breakfast. I had NOT been told to hold off on meds. Again, she was not happy.
So, be very clear on the instructions your gastroenerologist gives you for the procedure. This particular nurse had called me two days prior to the procedure and asked me all sorts of questions, filled out paperwork over the phone, etc. As a matter of fact, I asked her about the meal my doctor told me to have, and she told me that if he said its okay ... to do what he said. And she said nothing about not chewing gum.
I was taken back to a prep room and told to take off my shoes and any clothing on my upper torso and put on a gown. No jewelry allowed, either. I was given an IV (which didn't hurt anywhere near like the IV hurt for my c-section, so I was relieved). The anesthesiologist came in and also commented on the fact that I had eaten, and that I "shouldn't have." And I'm thinking, "Um, then ya'll need to speak with my doctor directly because he approved the meal."
The anesthesiologist noticed me squinting during the IV insertion, as the nurse was having a hard time with it. He gave me some "Versed" and informed it it would help me forget. I had heard of the drug prior to the procedure. Basically, you forget what has happened during the time the drug is in effect, but until you are put under, you are still able to talk, communicate, answer questions, etc. You just don't remember it later on.
The last thing I remember was that my vision got blurry and I asked if that was normal. He said, "Yes."
And then I was opening my eyes to see my son and husband in the room with me. Procedure done!
I had been told I'd be loopy for a bit ... but I wasn't. But I was relaxed ... and just content. Not bothered about anything ... not stressed about anything ... I was just happy as a clam. And that is a good place to be, you know? :)
The doctor took out two polyps from my stomach, but I was able to eat right after the procedure. No alcohol for 24 hours was the only thing. I was expecting a soar throat from the scope ... but didn't have one. I was really as if nothing had happened!
So I hope that story helps anybody who might be feeling anxious about their own procedure. Its not big deal ... really ... I promise!