Endoscopy – Functions, Preparation, How It Works, and Side Effects

Endoscopy is a non-surgical medical procedure that doctors usually use to examine the patient’s digestive tract. And if possible, the examination will also be accompanied by treatment in some cases. The use of an endoscope is the main one, namely a flexible tube with a camera attached to one end.

The function of the camera is the same as the camera found on a colonoscopy, which is as a picture taker in the digestive tract. If a colonoscopy examines only the large intestine, endoscopy is a process to detect and investigate the digestive tract.

There is a television screen that is used by doctors to see images that have been connected to the endoscope to make it clearer.

Endoscopic Function

Endoscopy is usually used by doctors to diagnose when the patient complains of several symptoms in the digestive tract. Never underestimate the presence of symptoms that seem mild indigestion because digestive disorders can also have an impact on a number of other organs, from the mouth to the anus. So, it’s good to go straight for a check-up when digestion feels uncomfortable.

In general, this endoscope is an examination procedure that the doctor performs on patients who aim or function to check the cause of symptoms. And the types of diseases that can be examined through endoscopy:

  • Cancer of the digestive tract, including gastric cancer, colon cancer, and gallbladder cancer
  • Celiac disease or also called gluten intolerance
  • Stomach heartburn
  • Pyrosis or the presence of a burning sensation in the solar plexus or chest
  • Anemia
  • Ulcerative colitis or inflammation that occurs in the large intestine
  • Peptic ulcer or wounds that occur in the stomach or intestines 12 fingers
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Inflammation of the stomach and small intestine
  • Gallstones
  • Inflammation in the digestive tract
  • Bowel obstruction or a condition where the intestine is blocked
  • Appendicitis

Another function of endoscopy is to see the symptoms such as:

  • The presence of inflammation in the digestive tract aka the intestine.
  • The presence of polyps or other abnormal tissue cell development in the large intestine.
  • There is bleeding in the digestive tract at the top.

As a diagnostic tool, doctors also use endoscopy for patients to:

  • Knowing the cause of weight that had dropped dramatically.
  • Knowing the causes of persistent vomiting.
  • Know the causes of difficulty swallowing or dysphagia.
  • Know the causes of pain in the upper abdomen.
  • Knowing the causes of dyspepsia.
  • Determine the exact location of widening of the blood vessels of the stomach and esophagus.
  • Determine the location of gastric ulcer.
  • Determine the location of bleeding that occurs in the digestive tract.
  • As an evaluator of the area of ​​injury caused by ingestion of a corrosive substance.
  • As an evaluation of the severity of the gastroesophageal reflux.

The function of the endoscopy process is not just that because apparently the doctors also use many endoscopes for treatment as well. Besides investigation, endoscopy is a way to treat the digestive tract at the top. Doctors also often use this method as extra equipment for the diagnosis process if there are health problems in other body systems.

When the diagnosis is not too strong, endoscopy is also often used as a diagnostic amplifier and there are still a number of other functions of the endoscopic procedure, as you can see below.

  • Its function is to examine the respiratory tract at the bottom.
  • Its function is to examine the nose.
  • Its function is to examine the reproductive system in women, covering the fallopian tubes, uterus, and cervix.
  • Its function is to examine the ears.
  • Orthopedics or bone surgery. In this process, it will involve the release of endoscopy on the carpal tunnel at the wrist and reconstruction of the joint in the knee.

When used as a treatment tool, doctors usually use endoscopy to:

  • Ligation or binding of the esophageal blood vessels and gastric ulcers due to varicose or non-varicose veins.
  • Dilate or widen the narrowing of the esophagus or esophageal stricture and stricture pylorus.
  • Extraction or the process of removing foreign objects which are also termed alienism corpus. 

It is also important to know that there are 2 types of gastrointestinal endoscopy in which the colonoscopy is included.

  • This method is also known as an examination of the structure of the digestive tract at the bottom where a video endoscope or fiber optic endoscope is inserted by the doctor through the anus, colon, rectum until the cecum reaches the digestive tract.
  • Gastroduodenal esophageal esophagi. This method is also known as an examination of internal gastrointestinal structures at the top where fiber optic endoscopes or doctor’s video endoscopes enter by mouth then into the esophagus and into the stomach to the distal duodenum to reach the gastrointestinal tract.

When do endoscopes need to be done?

This question is very important because many people often overlook the symptoms that occur in their body, they will not even think of undergoing an endoscopic procedure. But doctors usually advise patients to undergo endoscopy if indeed the symptoms below are experienced.

  • Frequent bowel movements or chronic diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Burp often
  • Eating taste has decreased
  • There is a heat sensation in the chest
  • Feel full quickly and full when eating
  • Endless bloating
  • Dispose of gas too easily
  • Constipation that persists even after consuming fibrous foods
  • Changes occur in the condition of defecation
  • Difficulty to swallow
  • Pain in the abdomen


Endoscopy as a medical procedure used to check the condition of the digestive tract is indeed still quite unfamiliar to our society. With the form of observation, this method has been done a lot and usually, the internist will carry out the process.

Maybe many patients then feel shocked and not calm when the doctor recommends undergoing the endoscopy process. Fear and fear that the shadow of the procedure that will be followed will be there, therefore it is also important to reduce the anxiety. The trick is to ask questions about endoscopy.

Take the time to meet with a doctor and then ask a few things that you really want to know clearly about the advice that the doctor gave. You need to understand and understand exactly what you are going to do, so ask your doctor specifically about why doctors are sure that the endoscopic process is really needed by you.

Ask other things that are more detailed and it doesn’t even matter to ask about what your anxiety is like, such as asking if the procedure will hurt later. Furthermore, ask about the possible side effects and how often you have to do an endoscopy. Note if necessary and even if you feel confused with some foreign medical terms, just ask and write down the meaning.

Every patient who has been advised by a doctor to undergo endoscopy will be scheduled to do it. Of course, afterward, there are a number of preparations made as below: 

  1. Manage Diet

Like when going into surgery, maintaining a diet is very important and each patient also needs to obey the doctor’s prohibition to eat 6-8 hours before the endoscope is done.

Because the examination covers the part of the large intestine, so it’s best that the organ should be left clean. In order to keep the large intestine clean, the doctor will also give laxatives 1 day before you do the endoscopic procedure.

Fasting is another name where you are forbidden to fill your stomach so that the camera can display the results clearly. For 8 hours before the endoscope starts, drinking any liquid is also not allowed. You even have to ask your doctor for permission even if you only want to consume a little water.

  1. No Smoking

For those of you who have a smoking habit and are active smokers, you should avoid smoking activities at least 6 hours before your endoscopic procedure goes on.

Because it can threaten the results of the examination that will become less good, then follow what is recommended by this doctor. Smoking can interfere with the results of the examination, so endure and be patient for 6 hours so that the endoscope results are clear.

  1. Removing Jewelry or Accessories

Before starting to get treatment to take an endoscopy, patients are also asked to remove jewelry or accessories that might interfere.

If the jewelry or accessories do not make you comfortable, just be released for a while. Also remember that during the procedure, you will wear a surgical robe, so your position should be as comfortable as possible.

  1. Follow Doctor’s Advice and Orders

For the sake of endoscopic success, you need to follow all the rules that have been said and notified to you. The doctor asks you to fast and stop taking any medication so that the results of the analysis with the endoscope are smooth and clear. For example, too much, record everything.

You also need to take the time to check your medical history by consulting this directly to the doctor. Let the doctor know what disease conditions you have experienced and what drugs have or are being consumed. For example, maybe you are suffering from heart disease or diabetes, tell your doctor about this.

The doctor will automatically take into account history when giving directions and instructions for you to follow. You can invite your family or close relatives to help support you in giving information to the doctor as well as helping you to comply with all the rules of the doctor. The procedure will run optimally when you obey all these rules.

  1. Consumption of tranquilizers

Before the endoscopy begins, patients will usually also be given by a sedative doctor so that there is a sense of relaxation and comfort during the examination with the endoscope. If the sedative is usually not to be consumed carelessly because it is not based on permission and dosage from the doctor, this times it is the doctor who gives it.

The effects of this drug will provide calm to the patient so that they can fall asleep later. The calm effect can be felt by the patient for 1 hour, which is also the same as the time needed to perform an endoscopic procedure. After waking up, the patient will usually not remember much or even forget completely that the endoscope has been undertaken.

  1. General Anesthesia

Anesthesia is usually done by a doctor for the endoscopy process, in other words, this endoscope is done in this way. But this case is quite a bit and only a few where this process is carried out by doctors in patients who are still young and very young. Or, general anesthesia is an option when planning procedures involves quite complex actions.

In the process, the doctor will insert an endoscope to start observing the patient’s digestive tract. Usually, it will start from the esophagus, stomach and to the duodenum without the patient having to worry about pain. The length of the examination is not long because it only runs for about 5 – 10 minutes where the camera will immediately be able to display a picture of the results of the examination in the stomach.

The initial results of the endoscopic process are likely to be given by the doctor immediately or in the middle of the process. The doctor can immediately tell you when you catch a problem that is clearly visible from the process. However, there is also a doctor who will inform the results later after the procedure is complete.

The patient’s concentration can usually be easily disrupted due to the consumption of sedatives, so the doctor may wait if you want to discuss the results of the diagnosis, depending on the patient’s current feeling. Even though the test generally runs briefly, there are also some endoscopes that can take longer.

When the doctor needs to take the tissue, he will automatically bring some samples to the laboratory first. There are results that doctors can directly inform, but it is not always the case. There are even some results from examinations that will require several days to be notified to the patient. If you really have to wait, ask your doctor when you can get answers to the results of the endoscope.

Further reading:

Endoscopic Fees

Before deciding to undergo endoscopy, of course, the costs also need to be considered because even if it is not a treatment step and only as a diagnostic process to ensure the cause of symptoms, the cost is not free. Patients should already find out in advance the range of costs to prepare perfectly. Before agreeing, you need to know how much you need to spend later.

Although each hospital is likely to give different rates from one another, there is a price range that you can try to find out. Prices may vary, but that does not mean you cannot prepare a budget before you are ready to undergo endoscopy. For gastric endoscopy costs, the cost range is at 1.5 – 2.5 million rupiahs for one implementation.

Side Effects or Danger

It seems that endoscopy is an easy method of examination or diagnosis and will not make patients feel pain. The patient is made as comfortable as possible during the endoscopy process, does that mean there will be no danger or side effects from the endoscopy, and especially right after it is done?

Endoscopy also seems to have side effects, but it’s not as severe or as bad as you might imagine because basically side effects are only small. Even side effects are far safer than the diagnostic method with X-rays that use X-rays. There are a variety of health problems caused by X-rays, especially disorders that will occur in parts that are often shot with X-rays.

If the X-ray method risks triggering irritation to the skin which also results in itching on the surface, endoscopy is a safe method. Even by endoscopy the results and information are far more accurate and more detailed. Recording through the observation process is what makes the results more leverage.

The camera that is inserted in the organs in the body is able to record maximally all activities and various infections in the organs of the body. Because the recording is directly guided by the expert doctor, all the things that need to be investigated can be obtained. Even so, there are still certain things or conditions that you must try to consider and be aware of. 

  1. Wounds and Bleeding

In the endoscopic process, the side effects that need to be watched out for are the presence of scratches from the tools that enter the body. There is the potential that the device scratches parts of one of the organs, such as the stomach and intestines. This technique, if done less skillfully, is indeed the risk of these side effects.

So from that, it is important to come to the doctor who is already an expert and trusted because if he is not careful and his skills are lacking, then when inserting the endoscope can be incorrect. If it happens, it will be harmful to the outside of the body’s organs because it will be injured as well as damaged.

When the intestines and stomach are scratched and injured due to improperly driven devices, the side effects that must be borne by the patient are the possibility of permanent injury and indigestion. Digestive disorders can include pain in the stomach and stomach as when the stomach is relapsing.

There is also the possibility of the emergence of other disturbances that we don’t expect. When the wound is large enough or actually quite small but is not immediately treated, it is likely that the wound can enlarge and cause bleeding. Because it has been damaged, this will automatically endanger the patient’s safety and health and can have a long-term impact.

  1. Bacteria and Germs Appear

In the body, a number of bacteria and germs will appear so that they can trigger infection. If there are too many bacteria and germs in the body, this could be because the tool used is not sterile. So it is necessary to ascertain beforehand whether the tool is truly sterile.

Irregularity in the device is able to bring in germs which later can potentially lead to diseases in the patient’s body. If it is not immediately dealt with, later it can trigger viruses and bacteria to develop in the body where this will trigger many diseases and will interfere with the performance of other organs in the body.

Signs of infection are likely to occur, so please contact a doctor as soon as possible before the endoscopic side effects become much more severe. Characteristics of infection that can be reported to the doctor when you feel it in the part of the organ inserted in the endoscope such as:

  • The discharge of pus or fluid
  • Swelling of the organ
  • Pain arises
  • There is redness in the skin like an allergic reaction

In general, doctors then give antibiotics to overcome the problem of infection. It’s just that, for more serious problems, such as excessive bleeding and organ perforation it may be possible to need surgery. This surgery aims to repair damaged organs or tissues while the signs of an allergic reaction are usually handled by taking antihistamine drugs.

Other symptoms or signs that can indicate the presence of complications after endoscopy include:

  • High body temperature or a high fever that can be more than 38 degrees Celsius
  • Chest feels sore
  • Vomiting blood
  • Out of breath
  • The stomach feels serious pain and the condition feels so worse
  • The stool or feces that come out are black

That is a series of info on endoscopy that you should know and learn a little as a reference. Before undergoing the procedure, make sure that you come to the doctor who is right, trustworthy and ready to serve and gives you comfort. A good doctor will certainly always answer patiently all your questions before undergoing the endoscopy process.

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