How long you will be in the endoscopy unit will depend on the procedure you have. The average stay is 3 hours but this depends on whether you have a sedative injection and how you feel after your procedure. Occasionally endoscopy lists run late as procedures sometimes take longer than we expect or we have unavoidable delays. The nurses in the endoscopy will inform you of any delays.
How long do I need to starve before my procedure?
For most procedures the fasting times are 6 hours for food including milk and milk products and 2 hours for clear fluids. This may be extended for certain procedures. If extended fasting is required you will be informed at time of booking.
Patients undergoing a colonoscopy do fast for food up to 24 hours but are encouraged to drink during this time. This will be discussed at pre assessment.
Do I need to bring anything with me?
When you come along for your appointment, please bring with you a current list of the medications you are prescribed, the phone numbers of your next of kin and the phone number of the person collecting you. Depending on the procedure, you may be asked to bring along a dressing gown and slippers.
You may want to bring a sandwich or similar to have after your procedure, as we only provide Tea, Coffee, Biscuits or Fruit.
As you may have to wait at times you could bring in something to read or listen to.
What does the sedative do?
Many people expect that the sedation will “put them to sleep” but this is not the case. Some people feel a little drowsy but you should expect to feel relaxed and calm but awake. The sedative can give you some amnesia (memory loss) so you may find that you forget some or all of your procedure. It can also make you a little unsteady on your feet. For these reasons we ask that you have someone to collect you from the endoscopy department, go home in a car/ taxi (not public transport/train), rest at home for 24hrs (no work) and do not drive, operate machinery, drink alcohol or sign important documents.
Do I need to have a sedative?
The sedative is optional. All procedures can be carried out with no sedative.
What does throat spray involve?
The throat spay used is Lignocaine based and flavoured with Banana essence. It works immediately and the effect last approximately 30 minutes.
What if I have no-one to escort me?
This is only relevant if you wish to have sedation and/or pain relief injection. If you are concerned ring the Gemini Suite on 01271 349180, Monday to Friday 8am to 6.00.
Am I allowed someone in the unit with me?
To maintain the privacy and dignity of all our patients we do not allow relatives or friends beyond the reception area. However, this can be discussed on the day depending on the individual circumstances.
Due to limited space in reception we encourage relatives and friends to visit the restaurant (level 0) or the café (level 2) while waiting.
Will I be able to stop the procedure at any point?
Yes. You can stop the procedure at any time.
There will be a nurse with you at all times so you can tell them, the Endoscopist will be listening to what you say too. During gastroscopy it’s difficult to speak so we tell patients to raise their hand in the air as a sign that they need our attention/ want the test to stop.
What happens if I don’t take the bowel prep?
It is very important that you follow the bowel preparation instructions carefully. If you do not follow the instructions, the bowel lining may not be clean and the Endoscopist will not be able to see any abnormalities that are there. If your bowel is not clean it can mean that you have to repeat the bowel preparation again.
If you have any questions, problems or concerns with your bowel preparation, before you start or during the time you are taking it please ring the Gemini suite on 01271 349180. You will be able to speak to a pre-assessment nurse who can give you some advice.
When will I get my results?
After your procedure the recovery nurse will let you know the outcome of your procedure and give you a copy of the report. It is not always possible to know exactly what the results are especially if biopsies are taken. The Endoscopist will let you know if they have seen anything but you may need to wait until biopsy results are back to get the further information about exactly what is happening.
The doctor who referred you will go through the results of the endoscopy and any biopsies in more detail when they see you in clinic/ GP surgery
What should I do if I need to take my medication when I am fasting?
Please try to adjust your medication times around your fasting times where possible. If your medications are time sensitive ring the Gemini suite on 01271 349180 for further advice.
Can I take my blood thinning tablets?
This is decided by the referring consultant so please ring the Gemini suite on 01271 349180 for advice
I am diabetic. Can I still take my insulin / Tablets?
You should have a morning appointment to minimise the disruption to you regime. If you are not sure ring the Gemini suite on 01271 349180 for advice.
Will the procedure hurt or be uncomfortable?
In the endoscopy we try to make you as comfortable as possible during your procedure. We often use sedation, analgesia, Entonox(gas and air) and local anaesthetic or combinations of these drugs. It is our aim to make you as comfortable as possible during your procedure, however slight discomfort can be common. During colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy a feeling of trapped wind is common and in investigations of the stomach a bloated feeling and burping is very common.
How do I cancel my appointment?
If you need to cancel your appointment please let endoscopy bookings know on 01271 370214 as soon as you are aware you can not make it, as the appointment can then be offered to another patient. If you are unable to make the appointment on the day ring the Gemini suite on 01271 349180