Ken, I am contemplating getting an endoscopy done and although I can't answer your question, I have one for you: what are the bad side effects that you have heard of?
Someone posted that their son felt nauseous after the procedure and vomitted. Another poster replied that I might've been the sedatives they gave him.
Another poster mentioned there are some risks involved. If doctors aren't careful, they could damage the esophagus or stomach as they are guiding the scope through. This may be a small possibility. (Could someone tell us the chances of this happening?)
And finally, my mother just had one done and she said it was just an unpleasant experience. Other than that, she seem's alright.
So, I'd like to know if an MRI would be a good alternative. I've heard it's a pretty safe procedure.
yeah, nauseau is most likely a result of the sedative and not the actual procedure. The risk of problems from the procedure is so small, but they have to tell them to you anyways. Mine was unpleasant but only because they didn't give me enough sedative and I woke up early.. but not unpleasant enough for me to be scared away from getting one again if I needed one. MRIs do not allow the doctor to see the actual condition of the esophagus and would only identify growths.
I had mine done both ways, with and without a sedative. The first time I had it without because I had to swallow for them, they needed to find out if I had any motility in the esophagus, (I don't) second time I had a sedative, both times were not bad, just a little uncomfortable the first time. Don't worry, it is not bad. And yeah, and MRI won't show things an endoscopy will show.
I've been an MRI tech for 7 years and have never done or heard of an MRI of the esophagus. I'm not saying it isn't possible because we try everything from time to time, but MRI is so motion sensitive that even swallowing would cause a lot motion and make the picture blurry. I think one time on we did an MRI of the cervical spine and saw a tumor in the esophagus but that was an incidental finding (that I'm sure was followed up by and endo). DO NOT even worry about the endo. Like others have said, they are cake. I think the risks are very, very low. I thought maybe I would at least have a sore throat but I didn't at all. All I did was get a good nap after.
Just did an internet search of MRI of esophagus and they are done. However, I would guess that they are only done if you have known esophageal cancer after being detected with other methods. At that point, that patient would probably go to Mayo or one of the larger, or more specialized university hospitals for that type of MRI.
This thread is interesting. I just went to the GI and he has scheduled me for an upper endoscopy. I know that MRI's and CT scans are not the same, but I asked him if my previous cat scan would have picked up anything suspicious in the esophagus and he informed me that it wouldn't. An upper endo is the only sure way to diagnose any lesions or tumors, as a cat scan only shows the outside. Even more, he said that there could be something behind the lungs that isn't showing and that if there are any ulcerations, they most certainly wouldn't be revealed on a cat scan.
Besides, I find MRIs nerve-racking. I've had 4, with my neck and back problems. It's not so bad if the tech gives you a headset with music, but only once out of the 4 times did that happen. And yes, with the neck MRI, I was told not to swallow. I produce a whole lot of saliva, especially if I'm nervous so that was a difficult task, as I think one of the imaging runs was for over 7 minutes. Those jackhammer noises can be unnerving...not looking forward to the endo-but, I'm glad my doctor uses more than throat spray and is giving me a mild sedative.
During the EDG, they will knock you out. You will have no idea what is going on.
I've always been surprised at the number of horror stories people hear about MRI's. Depending on your size, I can understand how people freak out being crammed in there but there is no reason to feel this way. Ask your doctor for a prescription to help your relax. I have found that Xanax seems to works best for the claustrophobic patient. This self sedation (must have a driver!) almost always works. If it doesn't, my hospital has some sedation slots (arranged in advance during normal weekday hours) where the nurse will either administer a stronger oral sedative or use an iv sedation. My hospital doesn't do general anesthesia cases but one I use to would on occasion. Note on heavily sedated patients, often they cannot hold still. They have no idea what is going on and move around too much to get a very good study. Oversedation can ruin the whole thing. People often talk about the Open MRI scanners. Those will have have more room because they sides of the magnetic are open but they have major drawbacks. Because the sides are open, the machine will be much less powereful. The study will take much longer and the quality of picture will be much less. Unless you weigh over 300+ lbs and simply won't fit into the regular scanner (hate the term closed scanner, its not closed) you are much better off getting sedation and using a normal 1.5 Tesla or stronger magnetic. Concering music and MRI... Sometimes we give music, sometimes not. It kind of depends on the type of scan. Sometimes the headphones will not fit. If I am doing a brain or cervical spine, the patient almost never gets music because they are too bulky to fit into what we call our coil. Knees, shoulders, stuff like that I usually give it to them. Although I hate to admit this, the choice of music can be dependent on which tech you have. We usually run on a very tight schedule and it gets very frusterating when the patient will say, "can you turn the music up, too much, no down, a different station please, etc". We can spend so much time messing with the music that the scan could be half over. Sorry to ramble but MRI is sometimes a misunderstood modality that even a lot good doctors don't really understand.
I understand how valuable Magnetic Imaging is. The first MRI I had was a cervical spine and I had no idea what to expect, so the saliva and holding back swallowing was difficult. The following MRIs weren't as bad. They haven't had to sedate me, it's just over-the-top noisy. I was offered a headset once. She asked what type of music I liked and that was it. I didn't have her turn it up or down. It's understandable how much it can interfere with the techs job, but it is helpful to the patient to make the time go by quicker and keep your mind off the procedure. Three to five minutes can seem like 30 minutes when you are in the tube alone with the whirls and jackhammer noises. I have had both open and tube MRIs. To tell you the truth, the tube didn't seem like it came so close to your face. The open air MRI seemed more confining to me because it seemed like they lowered the disc a nano-inch from my nose and it went so far off to the side I couldn't tell that I wasn't enclosed. (Besides the fact that you can't move your head to and fro to check out your surroundings.) I don't have a problem fitting into the tube, and as wierd as I am, I prefer it over the discs.