If you’re scheduled for an endoscopy, the thought of gagging may be causing you some anxiety, especially if you have a very sensitive gag reflex. Know that you are not the first and only person to have this concern. Doctors and the rest of the gastroenterology team prepare you for the test, which includes helping prevent gagging during the procedure.
Below, we will give you tips on how to avoid gagging during an endoscopy.
What is an Endoscopy?
An endoscopy is a procedure that uses a thin tube with a camera on the end to look inside your upper GI tract and diagnose the cause of the digestive issues you are presenting. The procedure requires the patient to swallow the tube. Endoscopy allows your GI doctor to visualize your GI tract, which allows for an accurate diagnosis.
How To Prevent Gagging
The discomfort that triggers gagging during endoscopy can be controlled. Consider the following:
Avoid Eating and Drinking Beforehand
It’s important not to eat anything before an endoscopy, since it could cause you to vomit or make it difficult for the doctor to see your stomach completely. Make sure you follow instructions given by medical staff regarding fasting prior to your scheduled endoscopy exam, so everything goes smoothly and your test is not rescheduled for another day.
Ask About Medication
Talk to your doctor about taking medication before the procedure. Anti-nausea medications or sedatives that numb the back of the throat can help reduce the feeling of nausea and make it easier for you to stay relaxed during the exam. The numbing agent may be delivered through an intravenous line, depending on what the GI doctor prescribes. Your doctor will provide instructions on when and how to take medication prior to your appointment, so make sure to follow their advice carefully.
Reducing feelings of anxiety about the procedure can also help. Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or visualization before and during the exam. Deep breathing helps slow your heart rate, while visualization allows you to focus on something else, like a peaceful place or calming image. Both methods have been proven effective in helping people remain calm throughout medical procedures like an endoscopy, where gagging could become a problem due to stress or anxiety.
Communicate With Your Care Team
Ask your doctor questions if anything feels uncomfortable during the procedure so that adjustments can be made accordingly. Be vocal about how you are feeling, which includes letting them know if you feel there is too much pressure being applied, which could end up making you feel nauseous enough for your gag reflex to kick in.
By following these tips, you can have a comfortable endoscopy procedure. Controlling your gag reflex is very important for a successful procedure, and success is critical for an effective investigation into your upper gastrointestinal tract.
Endoscopy Provider in California
You need a caring team of gastroenterology specialists for your endoscopy, who are willing to take the necessary steps to keep their patients comfortable and safe. At inSite Digestive Health Care, our gastroenterology specialists are committed to providing our patients with quality and compassionate GI care.
Choose us for your endoscopy and feel the difference we make. To schedule your endoscopy or to make an appointment with one of our GI doctors, call our GI clinic nearest you or use our convenient online request form.