How long you will be in the endoscopy unit will depend on the procedure you have, if you have a sedative injection, and how you feel after your procedure.

Patients who have a sedative are kept in the department longer so we can monitor them until they are fully awake. Occasionally, endoscopy lists run late as procedures sometimes take longer than we expect, or we have unavoidable delays. The nurses in the endoscopy will inform you of any delays.

The procedure patient information leaflet will give you an indication of the length of stay.

In the endoscopy we try to make you as comfortable as possible during your procedure. We often use throat spray, Entonox, analgesia or sedation or a combination of these drugs.

It is our aim to make you as comfortable as possible during your procedure, however slight discomfort can be common. During colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy, a feeling of trapped wind is common and in investigations of the stomach a bloated feeling and passing wind is encouraged to make you feel more comfortable quicker.

Yes, you can stop the procedure at any time.

There will be a nurse with you at all times so you can tell them, the endoscopist will be listening to what you say too. During gastroscopy, it is difficult to speak so we tell patients to raise their hand in the air as a sign that you need our attention/want the test to stop.

It is very important that you follow the bowel preparation instructions carefully. If you do not follow the instructions the bowel lining may not be clean and the endoscopist will not be able to see any abnormalities that are there. If your bowel is not clean it can mean that you have to repeat the bowel preparation again.

If you have any questions, problems or concerns with your bowel preparation, before you start or during the time you are taking it, please call the Unit to speak to one of nurses and they will be able to give you some advice.

During the procedure, there will be two members of the nursing team.  One nurse will be allocated to take care of you, monitor your observations and check if you are experiencing any pain throughout your procedure. If you have any concerns let your nurse know so they can help you.

The second nurse will be supporting the endoscopist with the procedure; taking any samples that may be required. Present will also be the endoscopist carrying out your procedure.

As we are a teaching hospital a medical or nursing student may be present, please let us know if you are not comfortable with them being present.

Many people expect that the sedation will ‘put them to sleep’ but this is not the case. Some people feel a little drowsy, but you should expect to feel relaxed and calm but awake. Some people do feel a little sleepy but not everyone.

The sedative can give you some amnesia so you may find that you forget some or all of your procedure. It can also make you a little unsteady on your feet.

For these reasons we ask that you arrange for a responsible adult to collect you from the endoscopy department, go home in a car/taxi and stay with you overnight. You should not drive, operate machinery or sign important documents for 24 hours after your procedure.

Your relative, friend or carer may not be able to accompany you past the waiting area unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The staff in the endoscopy unit are here to help you any time during your stay.

When you arrive you will be checked in by our reception staff and then be seen by one of our assessment nurses who will take your details, discuss your procedure with you and get you ready. If you have any worries you can speak to the nurse at this point.

Usually, the endoscopist or a member of the nursing team will be able to tell you the results before you leave the procedure room. Once you have recovered; a member of the nursing team will discharge you, explain the findings and any aftercare or follow up that may be needed.

However, if a sample (biopsy) has been taken for examination, the results may take several weeks. Details of results and any necessary treatment should be discussed with your general practitioner (GP) or the consultant who referred you to have the test.

Before leaving you should receive written information on your procedure and a copy of the consent form.