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  • Writer's pictureMr Brian MacCormack

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Updated: Aug 1, 2022

Are you worried that your child might need endoscopy? Well….you’re in the right place!

In this post I'm going to teach you what this means for your child, and how someone like me can sort it out for them.

Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (or OGD) is a way for me to assess the food-pipe, stomach, and first part of the small intestine in your child.

It is useful for diagnosing conditions such as gastro-oesophageal reflux, inflammation (such as in allergic conditions like eosinophilic oesophagitis), Crohn’s disease, and Coeliac disease.

If your child is having endoscopy to confirm Coeliac disease they should have at least 4-6 weeks of a gluten-rich diet (ideally to the point where their symptoms are becoming difficult to tolerate) prior to the procedure, as this will massively increase our chance of making the diagnosis on biopsy.

I perform this procedure under general anaesthetic and it usually takes me around 10 minutes to complete. During the procedure I will pass a flexible telescope via your child’s mouth – let me know if they have any wobbly teeth! During the procedure I can take tiny samples (or biopsies) of the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and can also take pictures and video to help discuss your child’s condition with you afterwards.

Like in any operation there are small risks such as bleeding – but thankfully this is extremely rare and tends to settle on its own. Sometimes your child may have a sore throat or feel slightly bloated after the procedure.

What I worry about is making a hole or a perforation. If your child develops severe abdominal pain, chest pain, breathlessness or temperatures after the procedure this is NOT normal and you should bring them to A&E immediately. This is vanishingly rare (about 1:2000).

Following the procedure, I would expect your child to eat and drink and go home the same day. I will write to you as soon as I receive the results of the biopsies and let you know what else needs to be done based on these results.

So, if you think your child might need endoscopy – why not get in touch?

Until next time, take care of yourself and your family.

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