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What Are the Risks of an Endoscopy?


Compared to open surgery, endoscopy offers a substantially lower risk of bleeding and infection. Still, because endoscopy is a medical operation, there is a chance of bleeding, infection, and other uncommon risks like:

  • chest pain
  • damage to your organs, including possible perforation
  • fever
  • persistent pain in the area of the endoscopy
  • redness and swelling at the incision site

The risks for each type depend on the location of the procedure and your own condition.

After a colonoscopy, for example, dark-colored feces, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing could signal that something is amiss. There is a slight danger of uterine perforation, uterine hemorrhage, or cervical damage during a hysteroscopy. There’s a chance that if you have a capsule endoscopy, the capsule will get lodged someplace in your digestive tract. People who have a condition that causes narrowing of the digestive tract, such as a tumor, are at a higher risk. It’s possible that the capsule will need to be surgically removed.

However, endoscopy is a comparatively harmless method, but there are some risks involved. Risks depend on the area that is being examined.

Risks of endoscopy may include:

  • over-sedation, although sedation is not always necessary
  • feeling bloated for a short time after the procedure
  • mild cramping
  • a numb throat for a few hours due to the use of a local anaesthetic
  • infection of the area of investigation: this most commonly occurs when additional procedures are carried out at the same time. The infections are normally minor and treatable with a course of antibiotics
  • persistent pain in the area of the endoscopy
  • perforation or tear of the lining of the stomach or oesophagus occurs in 1 in every 2,500-11,000 cases
  • internal bleeding, usually minor and sometimes treatable by endoscopic cauterization
  • complications related to preexisting conditions

Ask your physicians about symptoms to look out for following your endoscopy.

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