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What is the technique employed to make gastroscopy and colonoscopy painless?

    The painless procedure is done under careful supervision and with the use of appropriate equipment (intravenous drip). The drip delivers short-acting anesthetic drugs (analgesic sedative drugs) to achieve a medium to deep sedation so that the patient does not feel any pain. At this level of anesthesia, an examinee can be relaxed and experience less anxiety, uneasiness and pain. Unlike serious surgery that requires a patient to be totally sedated, most of the examinees are able to maintain stable breathing and to keep their blood pressure and heart rate steady. After the check up, doctors will remove the anesthesia and the examinee will be moved to the recovery room to be cared for by the nursing staff.

     Most of the examinees will be completely awake shortly after the painless gastroscopy and colonoscopy. It will feel like coming out of a pleasant dream. Please go to the counter to register for a physical check-up and confirm the check up items you wish to select. The nurses will explain all the relevant information for you as well as assist in filling in the correct forms.

Is painless gastroscopy for everyone? Who is not suitable for this kind of examination?

    The painless procedure requires anesthesia. If an interested examinee is older than 70 years old, obese (body mass index, BMI > 32), has sleep apnea syndrome, or has had major diseases within the past six months such as: stroke, myocardial infarction, major surgery, etc., then painless colonoscopy examination is not recommended.
    Also, patients with severe intestinal adhesions will have increased risk. If a painless colonoscopy is still required, please consult a specialist before the examination.

I don't know if anesthesia is for me, what can I do?

Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital Health Screening Center welcomes you to come here for a consultation to decide if you are suitable for painless gastroscopy. Our hospital is equipped with a professional and modern outpatient teaching clinic. Those who have concerns about anesthesia or may be at high-risk are welcome to make an appointment with our anesthesiologists for further evaluation and to receive a detailed explanation before the procedure.

What are the risks of painless gastroscopy?

When undergoing the painless gastroscopy examination, in addition to the risks from anesthesia, there are also risks associated with gastroscopy and colonoscopy. The possible risks from anesthesia can be aspiration pneumonia or the inability to breathe or circulate blood during anesthesia. Risks from gastroscopy include bleeding after the biopsy, aspiration pneumonia, and perforation of the intestine. Risks from colonoscopy include intestinal perforation, infection, biopsy, or bleeding after polypectomy. These are risks that could occur, but rarely do. In order to avoid these complications, we perform each procedure with a professional and thorough attitude to ensure the safety of our patients.

What should I be cautious about after the gastroscopy and colonoscopy?

Gastroscopy and colonoscopy examination patients will be restricted to a certain diet and must also drink a laxative that cleans the bowels before the procedure. It is recommended that the patient consume a light diet ( not too much food, few greasy foods ) the day after the procedure. If the polypectomy or biopsy was performed during the examination, then we recommend the following:

1 Avoid foods that contain a lot of fiber such as bamboo shoots, pineapples, guavas, and nuts. These thick fibers might scratch the wounds and cause bleeding.

2 Please refrain from smoking, drinking coffee or thick tea or any food that is raw or contains stimulants as all of the food mentioned above affect healing or cause complications.

Daily Life 

3 Try not to engage any active exercise during the first 2-3 days following the procedure.
To check for possible complications

4 A few patients may experience the following complications in the two weeks following a biopsy or polypectomy: bleeding, intestinal perforation, infection. Possible symptoms may include abdominal pain, all-black or bloody stools, fever, etc.. If you experience any of these symptoms after the procedure, please seek medical advice right away.

What is the difference between full colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy?

Colons include the rectum, sigmoid colon, descending colon, transverse colon, ascending colon, and cecum. Full Colonoscopy is done by inserting the colonoscopy lens from the anus into the deep part of the cecum for an examination. For the sigmoid colon examination, the sigmoid colon or ascending colon area is the only part of the colon that is examined. For the sigmoid colon examination, a patient does not need to follow a strict diet before the examination. An enema is administered immediately before the examination on the same day. Because the area is in the descending colon, most of the patients can bear the discomfort of the procedure without anesthesia. The colonoscopy requires a patient to drink liquid food only prior the procedure and to take a laxative for bowel preparation before the examination. Colonoscopy requires the whole colon to be examined and the lens of the camera to reach deep into the cecum, which tends to cause the patient abdominal pain, bloating and discomfort. Currently, colonoscopy patients will be sedated. If you have never had your colon examined, we strongly advise you to undergo a full colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening.

Schematic diagram of large intestine