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Risks And Complications Of Endoscopy Procedures

While endoscopic procedures are generally considered to be relatively safe, especially when compared to traditional surgery, there are still some risks and complications associated with any medical procedure, and endoscopy is no exception.

Common side effects of some types of endoscopic procedures include discomfort, nausea or gassiness, mild pain, sore or scratchy feeling in the throat, and difficulty swallowing immediately following the procedure. More serious complications can include bleeding, which may be serious, allergic reaction to the sedation medication if sedation is required, infection from improperly cleaned medical equipment, and other serious conditions depending on the type of endoscopy performed on the patient such as:

Flexible Cystoscopy

Pain and swelling
Perforation or a tear along the urinary tract in the urethra or bladder
Scar tissue creation
Urinary retention following the procedure
Urinary Tract Infection following the procedure

Flexible Bronchoscopy

Nose bleeding
Vocal cord injury
Oxygenation issues
Biopsy site bleeding
Punctured lung
Anesthesia complications including breathing and heart issues

Flexible Laryngoscopy

Nose bleeding
Spasm of the vocal cords leading to breathing difficulty

Flexible Transnasal Esophagoscopy

Nose bleeding
Nasal pain
Biopsy site bleeding
Spasm of the vocal cords leading to breathing difficulty

Flexible Hysteroscopy

Pelvic inflammatory disease
Perforation of the uterus
Complications from fluid used for expanding the uterus

Other reported complications depending upon the type of endoscopy performed include (though rare) pancreatitis due to surgical trauma, Tear in the wall of the stomach or intestine, tearing of the esophagus or other areas of the upper digestive tract, chest pains and/or irregular heartbeat, feeling of being unable to breathe or shortness of breath, and dehydration from fasting before the procedure.

Of these listed, the more serious side effects are extremely rare, and can usually be managed with medications to control infection or surgery to correct bleeding.

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