Ahead of Time
An information package will be sent to you when your appointment has been booked. Please read the entire information as soon as you receive it and read again five (5) days before your appointment.
Complete the questionnaire in the package and bring it with you on the day of the appointment.
If you will be sedated for the procedure, please see After the Procedure below for instructions on arranging for transportation after the procedure because you cannot drive until the following morning.
12 hours Before Your Appointment
The Day Of Your Appointment:
Things To Remember
An endoscope is a long flexible tube that is thinner than most food you swallow. It is passed through the mouth and back of the throat into the upper digestive tract and allows the physician to examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first portion of the small intestine). The tube will not interfere with your breathing. The procedure usually takes few minutes. If you are very anxious, you may request mild medication to help you relax. Major effects of the sedation wear off in about one hour.
Complications and Risk
Endoscopies are generally safe and associated with very low risk when performed by physicians who have been trained and are experienced in this procedure. Complications can occur but are rare. Bleeding may occur from the site of biopsy or polyp removal. It is usually minimal but rarely may require transfusions or surgery. There is a very low chance of perforation and injury to the teeth from the bite guard. Contact your doctor or go to the nearest emergency department if you experience fever, have trouble swallowing, or experience chest/abdominal pain following the procedure.
After The Procedure
- You will remain in the recovery room for close observation for approximately ½ hour.
- You will be able to resume your normal diet after the procedure, unless you are instructed otherwise.
If you were sedated for the procedure:
- You cannot drive until the following morning and must arrange to have someone else drive you home after the procedure. if you choose to go by taxi or public transit, you must be accompanied by someone. If you do not have someone to drive you or accompany you, your procedure will be cancelled
- For safety reasons, the person who drives or accompanies you must meet you inside the clinic after the procedure. You cannot leave the clinic on your own.
- Due to the sedation, you may feel disorientated or forgetful for a short time after the procedure. We recommend that you do not sign any legal or other important documents until the following day. We recommend that you have someone stay with you for 24 hours.
Please carefully read and follow these instructions if you are on any of the medications listed below:
If you are on Aspirin (including Bufferin, Novasen), discontinue the medication 10 days prior to your procedure. It may be restarted the next day if no biopsy was done. Otherwise, restart 3 days after the procedure.
If you take Plavix (clopidogrel), discontinue the medication 7 (seven) days before your procedure and restart the next day (or 3 days in case of biopsy). You should confirm with your doctor that it is safe to be off this medication.
If you take iron supplementation, discontinue 5 days before the procedure.
If you are on anti-inflammatory medications (Indocid, Motrin, Advil, etc.), stop the day prior to the procedure. Celebrex and Vioxx are alright to take.
If you need to take medication for pain or headache, use plain Tylenol unless you are on chronic medication.
Only if you are on Coumadin(Warfarin):
You must discontinue this medication 5 (five) days prior to the procedure. You should confirm with your doctor that it is safe to be off this medication.
You must have an INR test done before 12 noon on the day before your procedure and have the lab FAX the result directly to us at 905-569-7056.
If you have not received an INR requisition form, please contact us immediately so we can mail it to you. We require the results by 8 a.m on the day of the procedure.
If your doctor/cardiologist feels that it is unsafe for you to discontinue blood thinners (Coumadin) or if your INR results are not available to us due to any unforeseen event we can still go ahead with your test, but without doing polyp removals or biopsies because of the danger of bleeding.
If we find polyps in those circumstances we can reschedule your procedure for a later time with proper steps taken to ensure that chances of complications are minimized. Your physician can arrange for injections of Lovenox (Enoxaparine) that can act as a bridge therapy while you discontinue Coumadin.
Please ensure that you are booked early in the day for your procedure.
If you are on oral medication (pills) for control of your diabetes, only omit your morning dose on the day of the procedure.
If you are on insulin, please discuss with your doctor about cutting the morning dose in half on the day of the procedure. You can take Ensure as a meal supplement.
Medications such as pills for blood pressure, thyroid, and cholesterol should be taken in the morning with sips of clear fluids.
We make every effort to give you a firm date and time for your appointment. A procedure room and a surgeon, anesthetist, nurses and support staff are booked just for you. Therefore, please let us know as soon as possible if you have to change or cancel the appointment so we can give this time to another patient who may be urgently waiting for a procedure.
Appointments can be changed or cancelled only by calling our Contact Centre during working hours, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Saturday. One of our representatives will approve the change or cancellation and provide you with a confirmation. We cannot accept voice messages for changing or cancelling appointments.
To avoid a $200 Fee for a changing or cancelling a sigmoidoscopy appointment, you must notify us at least three (3) business days before the day of your appointment. This fee is not covered by OHIP.