Each year, more than 75 million Americans undergo an endoscopy. This quick, outpatient procedure can diagnose potentially serious digestive problems and help guide treatment. At his practice in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, board-certified gastroenterologist Sam Weissman, MD, offers endoscopies to adults and teens. To make an appointment at the practice in New York City, call the office today, or schedule online.
An endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to examine your digestive tract. It involves Dr. Weissman inserting an endoscope –– a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end –– through your mouth and into your throat to observe the condition of your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine.
Endoscopy can also be used to observe the colon and rectum. When this occurs, it’s called sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy.
Dr. Weissman uses endoscopy to diagnose various gastrointestinal issues, including:
If necessary, Dr. Weissman can use endoscopy to take a biopsy or to treat certain problems. For example, if you have a stomach ulcer, he can pass special tools through the endoscope to stop the bleeding.
Preparing for endoscopy falls into two categories: gut preparation and sedation.
If you’re undergoing an upper endoscopy, Dr. Weissman asks you to fast six to eight hours in advance. If you’re undergoing a colonoscopy, you might also be prescribed laxatives to clean your colon of stool.
Before conducting an endoscopy, Dr. Weissman administers general anesthesia, putting you to sleep. The medication wears off within a few hours, but it makes you groggy for the remainder of the day, so you’ll need to have a friend or family member drive you home.
Most endoscopies take between 15-30 minutes. After Dr. Weissman administers the anesthesia, he carefully inserts the endoscope through your mouth and throat and into your esophagus. The endoscope transmits live images to a video monitor in the exam room.
Dr. Weissman watches the monitor to look for any unusual growths or abnormalities. If he needs to take a biopsy or remove a polyp, Dr. Weissman passes special surgical tools through the endoscope. Then, he uses the video feed to guide his work.
Endoscopy is safe and usually well-tolerated, but it does present side effects. Many people experience minor discomfort, like a sore throat, cramping, or gas. If these issues persist for more than a day, or they interfere with your ability to work or perform other routine tasks, contact Dr. Weissman right away.
To see if you’re a candidate for endoscopy, make an appointment at the practice of Sam Weissman, MD, by calling the office today or scheduling online.