An endoscopy is a procedure that uses a small, flexible tube outfitted with a tiny camera to inspect the interior of the digestive tract. Bariatric surgeons and other specialists use endoscopies to find the causes of conditions like heartburn and ulcers and determine a patient's suitability for weight loss surgery. While endoscopies are nonsurgical, they’re somewhat invasive, and proper aftercare is crucial to recovery. Use this guide to learn a few tips to support your health and healing.
How to Recover After Endoscopy
1. Eat Lightly
Immediately after the procedure, it's not uncommon for your throat to feel sore or dry. Because your bariatric surgeon will require you to fast for several hours before the procedure, expect to be hungry, but only eat and drink when it feels safe and comfortable to swallow effectively.
For the first 48 hours post-procedure, eat small portions of soft foods that are easily digested. Eggs, soup, applesauce, and pudding are all good choices. Avoid fried foods and large servings during this time to prevent overwhelming the digestive tract.
2. Plan to Rest
Your bariatric surgeon will sedate you for the endoscopy. As a result, you may feel tired and a bit groggy for a few hours after the procedure. You'll likely be feeling a little unsteady, so clear your schedule for the rest of the day.
Lie down and rest as much as possible. Only stand up and move around once you feel stable and sturdy on your feet. Exercise additional care and caution when showering or going up and down stairs.
3. Expect Some Light Cramping
During the endoscopy, a small amount of air is blown into the digestive tract to expand it and provide a better view. This air can cause mild cramping or bloating afterward, both of which are normal. Burping or expelling the gas will help minimize discomfort.
Your doctor will work to ensure your comfort before, during, and after an endoscopy. Sofiane El Djouzi, MD, FACS, is a bariatric surgeon serving patients throughout the Willowbrook, IL, area. He offers a variety of surgical weight loss solutions, including gastric bypasses, sleeve gastrectomies, and lap-band™ procedures. Call (773) 365-1300 or visit Dr. El Djouzi's website to schedule a bariatric consultation.