What are the Risks of Endoscopy?
As with crossing any road, the chance of accident and injury is very small when all sensible precautions are taken. But the chance of accident and injury is never zero. At random, one could still have an accident despite the best precautions. So it is with endoscopy. Every precaution is taken to prevent the complications the might happen. Yet, despite the best of efforts, the risk of injury is not zero, although extremely small. What are the known risks?
- Perforation (tear in the gut wall) – Injury to the walls of the digestive tract is possible, with the worst case being a perforation that might require (usually laparoscopic or key-hole) surgery to repair. The risk is very small and even smaller for a relatively healthy digestive tract and an experienced endoscopist.
- Risks of sedation - Medications to obtain conscious sedation may be given in the vein to help you relax and be comfortable during the procedure and may cause vein irritation (phlebitis) or pain, allergic reaction, or heart/breathing complications.
- Bleeding – Bleeding may be a complication of biopsy, polypectomy, or dilatation and may rarely require blood transfusions or possibly a surgical operation. In diagnostic