Unexplained symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, constipation or pain in a child may require an internal examination. This can be done by using an endoscope, a small flexible tube with a camera on the end that is passed through the mouth or rectum.
What to Expect
An endoscopy procedure is done as an outpatient at the hospital. A child cannot eat or drink anything for 8 hours prior to the procedure. An infant may be able to have formula up to 5 hours before the exam depending on their age. The doctor will specify what time the child must stop eating or drinking.
If the doctor is examining the colon, he may give you instructions for how to cleanse the colon the day before the procedure. It is very important that these instructions be followed so that the colon is clean for the exam. If there is any problem with the child taking all of the laxative prescribed, please let your doctor know.
After being admitted to the hospital, the patient will change into a hospital gown. A nurse will ask some questions and explain everything. Sometimes the patient will get some medicine by mouth to help relax him. The nurse may also start an I.V. by inserting a tiny catheter into the patient’s vein.
Children receive general anesthesia or sedation with medicine through the I.V. The endoscopy is done in a procedure room with special equipment. Parents stay with their child until anesthesia begins. After the procedure, the child is observed and monitored carefully until it is time to go home. The doctor will talk to the parents and discuss what he found.
It is important to take the child directly home after leaving the hospital. The child may be drowsy, dizzy or weak and will need to rest or play quietly indoors for the remainder of the day. Other special instructions will be reviewed with the parents prior to going home.
Download patient information and discharge instructions for pediatric outpatient endoscopy.