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What are the dangers of an endoscopy procedure?

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Quick Answer

The potential risks of endoscopy include tearing of the gastrointestinal tract, excessive bleeding and infection, according to Mayo Clinic. Some patients also experience complications related to the use of sedation, as reported by the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates.

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What are the dangers of an endoscopy procedure?
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Full Answer

WebMD defines endoscopy as a procedure used to see inside a person's digestive tract. Physicians use this procedure to diagnose problems with the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine. Although endoscopy is generally safe, some people do experience complications.

Tearing of the GI tract occurs in only three to five of every 10,000 upper GI endoscopy procedures, as reported by Mayo Clinic. A tear in the GI tract may lead to hospitalization or the need for surgery. If a physician takes a tissue sample during the endoscopy, the patient has an increased risk of bleeding. Infections are more likely to occur if the physician performs other procedures while performing the endoscopy.

In some people, sedation causes problems with the heart and lungs. Some of the problems are minor, such as a temporary decrease in oxygen saturation. Others, such as heart attack and shock, are very serious. The use of sedation may also lead to cardiac arrest or abnormal heart rhythms, as stated by the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates.

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