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Terrified of Endoscope test !
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Terrified of Endoscope test !

Hello,
> I am 39 years old and approx 12 months ago, I started having pretty bad acid reflux symptoms and I was having a LOT of pain in the end esophagus/top stomach area.  It seemed to be right where the esophagus ends and the stomach begins (diaphram area). It felt like pain and burning.  I went to my dr and they did an upper GI where you have to swallow the barium stuff.  When my dr got the written results back, all he said to me was that the test showed a small (1 cm) hiatal hernia.  He said this is a common condition and started me on Prilosec. Because my anxiety level was so severe, he gave me a 30-day supply of xanax too.  Prior to this flare-up, I had never been sick with any type of serious illnesses.   I took the Prilosec for 3 weeks and just a few of the xanax, and everything got better.  A few months later, it's starting to bother me again (nothing as severe as that first flare-up tho), and this time I decided to go see a gastroenterologist on my own.  I asked for a copy of the barium report that we did 10 mos ago from my family internist, and when I took this to the gastro-ent, he said that he thinks an upper GI endoscopy needs to be done because the barium test showed "a slight nodularity in the body of my stomach which was of no clinical significance".  Those were the words used on the test.  The gastro-ent seemed to think that the "nodularity" could be something serious and it should be biopsied.  The discomfort I'm having is not in the body of my stomach...it's at the end of my esophagus and very very top of my stomach (right where the hernia is i guess).  My appetite is fine and I love to eat! This discomfort seems to get a little better whenever I eat.  That barium test found no ulcers anywhere.  My question is this: do you think I should have that endoscope test?  I am terrified at the thought of having a t
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Dear Cathy,
Acid reflux ( acid entering the chest and causing burning discomfort or pain) is a common, chronic or recurrent condition.  Sometimes a specific precipitating factor is identified (e.g. binge of alcohol use or starting a new medication)but often no specific cause is identified.  Most gastroenterologists would initially treat empirically with an acid suppression drug (examples include Tagamet, Zantac, Prilosec or Prevacid), assuming that there are no alarm symptoms e.g. vomiting, trouble swallowing, anemia, weight loss.  If symptoms persist or recur, then additional tests are needed top exclude structural or inflammatory conditions of the esophagus.  Barrett's esophagus is a specific condition that can not be diagnosed by barium study and therefore, gastroenterologists recommend endoscopy.

I can not comment on the significance of the x-ray finding without seeing the films.

This information is presented fo educational purposes only.  Ask specific questions to your personal physician.

HFHSM.D.Gastro-rf
31 Comments
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Cathy,

I was diagnosted with HCV (Hepatitis-C Virus) along with liver disease (cirrhosis) in November of 1995. As part of the normal diagnosis of liver disease, it is important to determine if there exists esophageal virices (varicose veins in the esophagus). This required an upper endoscopy. Now, like youself, I was very apprehensive of the procedure: How much distress will I endure trying to swallow that black tube with a tiny light and camera at its end?

Well, as it turns out, I was given a relatively mild general anesthetic, and was in 'la-la' land throughout the procedure.
Next thing I new I was awake in the recovery room- none the worse for wear, and didn't remember a thing.

I would suggest that you discuss the procedure with your gastroenterologist- as to how he (I assume he will be the physician doing the procedure) plans to carry-out the procedure. Don't be hesitant to ask him to describe the procedure in detail. Ask him about receiving either a mild general, or even another drug which will relieve your anxiety during the procedure (there are plenty of drugs that won't 'knock you out', but will put you at ease- that is: you won't care!)

At any rate, this procedure is nothing to fear, at least based upon my experience. It sounds to me like your GE is just being properly cautious by ordering the upper-endo.

Get the information from your GE, and based upon what you are told, make a rational (armed with the info) decision.

Best of luck,

Randy
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I had one preformed about two years ago.  It's not that bad.  I wouldn't think twice about getting another one.
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I have had numerous endoscopes and would not hesitate to have another if I need it.  They use what the call conscious sedation, you are awake but do not remember it. All I remember is them giving me the medicine and waking up after the procedure, no pain, no discomfort. I usually spend the rest of the day sleeping. It is not a bad procedure to have and have never had any side effects. Good luck.  Sheila
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I also have had scopes performed on me. I have had 3 endoscopes and 4 colon scopes. They do not hurt at all and there arent any side effects to worry about. They found a ulcer and a hiatal hernia and i suffer from acid reflux real bad. I take 2 priosec and 4 reglan a day and still have trouble with the acid. You have to cut out chocalte and stuff with tomatoes in it. And cutting back on caffine helps also.
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I've had 2 and they are not that bad. Over quickly.
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Hi Cathy!
As other people said don't be afraid to ask lots of
questions of your Dr. its your body. Make a list if you
have too. I have had 2 EGD's the first without sedation
the second with it. Get sedated, it's over in a flash and
you dont feel a thing. The test only takes 2 or 3 mins.
Hang in there! Hope you'r feeling well !

J
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I've been through what your going through I had the fundoplication operations and feeling much better now. I had the operation about 1 1/2 years ago. I've had a few post problems for the most part I feeling much better.
As Part of the PRE operation I had many endoscope test - its a piece of cake - Its a Camera attached to tube that is placed down the esophagus. The good news is your can be put to sleep for the total process. You feel no pain or disconfert, Well may be a slight sore throat after the procedure is done.
If you or anyone on the forum have questions please mail me and I'll get back with you.
***@****

Dennis

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I too had those sypmtoms and was petrified to have the endoscope test done on me.  I finally did it and it was a piece of cake!!  It really is over before you think they even started.  I think you should have the test done to rule out other possibilities.
Good luck to you and trust me, I am a total chicken, it is quick and simple and worth it.

again - good luck!!!!!!
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Hi Tina,
Thanks for the info.  May I ask what they found wrong when they did the endoscope test ??  I probably will end up having the test because I am at a lost as to what's wrong.  I am so scared.  Maybe I'm eating the wrong foods or something

THANKS in advance !

Cathy
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How long is a endoscope?
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Avatar_n_tn
NO ONE COULD HAVE BEEN MORE SCARED THAN I WAS, THOUGHT THE SAME THING, HOW IS THIS THING GOING TO GO THERE.
BUT, LIKE YOUR OTHER RESPONSES, I DID NOT REMEMBER A THING, AND ONLT HAD A SLIGHT SORE THROAT FEW DAYS LATER. MY GASTRO GAVE ME VERSAD (SP?). ALL I REMEMBER WAS HIM ASKING ME HOW DO YOU FEEL AND NEXT THING I KNEW I WAS IN RECOVERY ROOM.
GOOD LUCK
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Avatar_n_tn
Cathy,

I was diagnosted with HCV (Hepatitis-C Virus) along with liver disease (cirrhosis) in November of 1995. As part of the normal diagnosis of liver disease, it is important to determine if there exists esophageal virices (varicose veins in the esophagus). This required an upper endoscopy. Now, like youself, I was very apprehensive of the procedure: How much distress will I endure trying to swallow that black tube with a tiny light and camera at its end?

Well, as it turns out, I was given a relatively mild general anesthetic, and was in 'la-la' land throughout the procedure.
Next thing I new I was awake in the recovery room- none the worse for wear, and didn't remember a thing.

I would suggest that you discuss the procedure with your gastroenterologist- as to how he (I assume he will be the physician doing the procedure) plans to carry-out the procedure. Don't be hesitant to ask him to describe the procedure in detail. Ask him about receiving either a mild general, or even another drug which will relieve your anxiety during the procedure (there are plenty of drugs that won't 'knock you out', but will put you at ease- that is: you won't care!)

At any rate, this procedure is nothing to fear, at least based upon my experience. It sounds to me like your GE is just being properly cautious by ordering the upper-endo.

Get the information from your GE, and based upon what you are told, make a rational (armed with the info) decision.

Best of luck,

Randy
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Avatar_n_tn
I to am having the exact problems that you are.  I've been to the Doctor several times and now they want to do the endoscope test.  I have pain right where my espohagus ends and my stomach begins.  I often have sharp spams that are very painful.  I know that it sounds wierd, but it does seem to help when I eat something.  Please let me know if you find out what it is!

email: ***@****
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I was really terrified because I don't like sedation. So, I stayed awake and it wasn't bad at all. The camera was only down in my stomach for about two minutes. The best part was that I got to watch this camera going down my throat and through my stomach on a monitor. It was really interesting. When it was over, I got a drink of water, took out my car keys, and drove myself home. I had arrived at the clinic at 8:15 and was back on the highway, headed for home at 9:25. Have a positive attitude and you'll do great.
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I also had "the scope" and it was no big deal at all! Like the others, I received the sedative, and the next thing I knew I was being carried out to the car! I am the worst about going to the doctor, but I would have this done again - don't live with the pain...get this done - it's a piece of cake, even for the biggest whimps! (I fall into this category)
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I have Barretts Esophagus and have to have an Endoscopy once a year... I just had my third one last week and I don't remember a thing... I mean the doctor said to turn on my side and the next thing I knew... I looked at his assistant and asked when they were going to do it and he said they already did. Just relax and it's over before you know it.
Good luck...
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I agree with most of the above posters...had one endoscopy, I was terrified for days beforehand. They started a drip on me and next thing I knew I was sitting in teh recovery roo. That was ten years ago & to this day I do not remember a thing about it. My 62 year old mother had to have one, and her experience was the same. That is one terrific drug they use! Do not fear this procedure.
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Has anyone heard of treating eosiniphilic esophagitis with Flovent?  I have a 2 year old who has started using Flovent  in hopes it will help his esophagitis.
thanks for any information
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I to had to have an endoscopy and was terrified. Turns out it was no problem at all. I remember very little, and what I do remember is pleasant. If you need the test, please don't let your fear stop you. The peace of mind you will have later from knowing what is wrong, or not wrong, is wonderful.
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Cathy,

I too had the scope, they found nothing, thank god, but i did have a bad reaction from the anesthetic mix they gave me.  It was a demoral/Versad combination.   The procedure itself was a breeze, but I was extremely nauseous from the anesthetic for about 10 hours.  If you are drug sensative, make sure you mention it to your doctor.  I did right before they gave me the injection of anesthetic and he decreased it by half.  Who knows how long i would have been sick if he had given me the whole dose.  Godd luck.
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I've had 2 endoscopies.The first in January of '98,this January and another coming up in April or May.Yes,I have it all,Gerd,hietal and Barretts.An endoscopy is one of the easieast and least painful procedure you'll ever have done in a hospital.
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I must be unlucky!  I had one done, and it was the worst experience I've had in my life.  I would only have one done again, if my life depended on it!!  I mean that..
Ian (London)
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I had an endoscopy done in January.  Like you, I too, was very apprehensive.  The only yucky part was when they sprayed my throat with anesthetic and then told me to swallow. It tasted terrible and makes your throat feel weird.  The anesthetic was no problem , though.  They slowly put it into my IV and it was just like feeling drowsy and drifting off to sleep. Don't be afraid about it.  The nurse watched me for about an hour when I woke up and then I went home.  I was sleepy for the rest of the day and took the next day off of work to relax. However, I had no sore throat at all.  Good luck to any of you who have to have this test.
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I had the endoscopy done this morning at 9:30am. I was up all night worrying about swallowing that HOSE. Wow...Should have just got a good nights sleep. The mouth spray was no big deal. Tasted bad, but not unbearable. When I was injected with the sedative, I was immediately in La-La land. Did'nt even know the procedure took place. When I woke up, felt fine and revived from my groggy state in about 20 minutes. You'll need someone to drive you home and its probably good to rest the remainder of the day. I could'nt take sitting at the house and had my wife drive me to work to do some administrative task.

If they said I needed to have this procedure done again, no problem....best sleep since before having children.

It is also reassuring to know what is causing your discomfort.

Have the procedure...Its a breeze.

PEACE!
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I am new here and haven't, I admit browsed your forum. My dad had an upper GI recently that showed an esophageal ulcer, in an unusual place. This may be the cause of his non-cardiac chest pain. what I want to know is if the biopsy shows cancer,or not,what then?
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Patricia
I two have Barretts Esophagus and hac the scope its real easy a piece of cake to let everyone out there its so easy. I would like to talk to you about Barretts Email me at ***@**** if you would like to chat about it.
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I have had 4 and I will be having my 5th endoscopy next week. Just relax, and let the medication work. Like the previous comments, its not as bad as you imagine it to be. I usually just go home afterwards and go to sleep.
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Hello...I am going to have one aswell ....but not sure if I need to do it. Do you feel that hose down your throat?? I have discomort in my stomach and dont what it is. What does a ednospcopy find?
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If you are terrified of a endoscope, just wait till the doctor orders a motility test.  At least with the endoscope you are sleeping!  Motility test is the worst test I have ever been through!
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I had two endoscopies done on me during last 5 years and both went smoothly. I will have another one next week. Just relax and take it easy.
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Dr. will not tell you that risks of this procedure include perforation, peritonitis, pancreatitis, and death.  Think carefully before you consent.
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