During a throat endoscopy, a long tube called an endoscope is passed down the patient's esophagus after a topical or spray anesthetic is applied to the throat, according to Mayo Clinic. The doctor may pump small amounts of air into the digestive tract, and a tissue sample is collected.
The patient is given anesthesia to limit the gag reflex and a mouthpiece to prevent accidental damage to the teeth, explains the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. During the endoscopy, the doctor looks at the patient's upper digestive tract on a computer screen. At that time, the doctor can also remove a polyp or other aberrations in the digestive tract. A throat endoscopy is performed for a variety of reasons, including diagnosing diseases or cancers and treating a bleeding esophagus. Patients are required to abstain from drinking or eating before the procedure, and certain medications can interfere with the outcome of the endoscopy, states Mayo Clinic.
After the procedure, the patient is monitored in case of side effects from the anesthesia. A sore throat is a common occurrence, notes the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. Some initial problems that may warrant a throat endoscopy include ongoing diarrhea, weight loss, reoccurring heartburn, anemia or stomach pain from ulcers.