- Adverse reaction or problems related to anesthesia, sedation or medications, such as an allergic reaction and problems with breathing
- Difficulty swallowing and sore throat
- Esophageal perforation or tear
- Injury to your teeth, jaw joint, lips, or throat
- Subcutaneous surgical emphysema, which is air trapped under the skin
Reducing your risk of complications
You can reduce the risk of certain complications by:
- Following activity, dietary and lifestyle restrictions and recommendations before your procedure and during recovery
- Notifying your doctor immediately of any concerns, such as bleeding, fever, or increase in pain
- Taking your medications exactly as directed
How do I prepare for my esophagoscopy?
If you dread the thought of undergoing an esophagoscopy procedure, you are not alone. You are a very important member of your own healthcare team. The steps you take before your procedure can improve your comfort level and help your doctor obtain the best outcome or most accurate test results. You can prepare yourself for an esophagoscopyby:
- Answering all questions about your medical history and medications you take. This includes prescribed medications, over-the-counter drugs, herbal treatments, and vitamins. It is a good idea to carry a current list of your medical conditions, medications, and allergies at all times.
- Completely following all your doctor’s specific pre-operative instructions. This generally includes not eating or drinking anything from four to eight hours before the procedure, as directed. You may also need to take a medication before the procedure to dry your mouth and air passages.
- If you wear dentures, you will need to remove them for the procedure. It is a good idea to leave them with a family member or at home if possible.
- Taking or stopping medications exactly as directed. For an esophagoscopy, this may include not taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and blood thinners. You doctor will give you instructions for taking or discontinuing your specific medications and supplements.
Questions to ask your doctor
Preparing for an esophagoscopy can be stressful. It is common for patients to forget some of their questions during a brief doctor’s office visit. You may also think of other questions after your appointment. You should feel free to contact your doctor about any questions. You should also write down your questions and bring the list to your appointment. Common questions include:
- Why do I need an esophagoscopy? Are there any other options for diagnosing or treating my condition?
- How long will the procedure take? When will I be able to go home?
- What kind of restrictions will I have after the procedure and when can I expect to return to work and other activities?
- What kind of assistance will I need at home? Will I need a ride home?
- What medication plan should I follow before and after the procedure?
- How will my pain be managed?
- When and how should I contact you? Ask for numbers to call during and after regular hours.
- When will I receive the results of my test?
What can I expect after my esophagoscopy?
Knowing what to expect after an esophagoscopycan help you get back to your everyday life as soon as possible.
How will I feel after the esophagoscopy?
After the procedure, you may have a sore throat, bloating, gas, and cramping. These symptoms should be mild and brief. If they are not improving rapidly or are getting worse, call your doctor. You might also feel a little drowsy for about 24 hours from the anesthesia or sedative you were given.
When can I go home?
You will need to stay in the doctor’s office, surgical outpatient facility, or hospital for a short period of time after your esophagoscopy. The length of time varies depending on your age, general health, and the specific type of procedure and anesthesia used.
If you are sedated, you will be discharged home when you are fully alert, breathing effectively, and your other vital signs are stable. This generally takes an hour or two, depending on the type of sedation you receive. After sedation, you will not be able to drive for about 24 hours and you will need a ride home from your procedure. Because you may still be a bit drowsy, someone should stay with you for the first 24 hours.
© Copyright 2012 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. For specific medical advice, diagnoses and treatment, consult your doctor.