Can An EGD Help Bleeding? What To Expect During Treatment For GI Hemorrhage

Can An EGD Help Bleeding? What To Expect During Treatment For GI Hemorrhage

Bleeding Inside The Digestive Tract

Gastrointestinal (GI) hemorrhage is bleeding that occurs inside a person’s body from the mouth to the anus. Upper GI bleeding involves the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. Lower GI bleeding includes other parts of the small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus. Upper GI hemorrhage can be managed with an upper GI endoscopy or esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD).

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Bleeding signs

GI hemorrhage comes with various signs and symptoms based on the source and severity. With GI bleed, one may experience abdominal cramps, vomiting blood, and dark stool or stool with blood. Be watchful of severe signs such as shortness of breath, fatigue, weak, rapid pulse, dizziness, or pale appearance. These severe signs require immediate medical assistance before a person goes into a shock stage. Once medical help arrives, the patient is stabilized, and doctors will request that diagnostic tests such as EGD be performed.

The role of upper GI endoscopy

An upper GI endoscopy or EGD is used to diagnose and treat upper GI tract problems such as GI hemorrhage. An endoscope is a long and narrow tube with a camera attached at one end. The tube enters the mouth and throat and goes through the digestive tract. During the endoscopy, tools can be used to stop the bleeding. Sometimes the doctor can prescribe medications to stop the bleeding.

Before the procedure

The doctor will explain the endoscopy procedure to the patient before proceeding. The patient will be required to fast 8 hours before the procedure. Follow any specific instructions given by a physician and ask questions if in doubt.

Going through GI endoscopy

During the EGD procedure, a sedative is given and numbing medicine is sprayed into the back of the throat. The numbing medicine prevents one from gagging while the tube is passed down. While lying down, vitals are constantly monitored and a mouth guard is placed in the mouth to protect the teeth. When ready, the doctor enters the tube into the mouth and passes the tube down into the digestive tract. After the endoscopy procedure, the tube is taken out.

After the EGD, what’s next?

Once the procedure is completed, the patient is taken to the recovery room to observe and monitor the vitals. Pain and sore throat is common but will resolve eventually. Eating or drinking is not allowed until the patient’s gag reflex returns. One can be discharged on the same day but someone must drive the patient. After the procedure, always follow the doctor’s instructions.

EGD can help with bleeding

GI hemorrhage can be diagnosed and treated with EGD. The procedure is quick and the patient can go home the same day. The prognosis of GI bleed is positive and many patients recover well. To prevent future bleeds, one must make healthy lifestyle choices.

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