"I was referred for an endoscopy"

About: University College Hospital / Gastroenterology

(as the patient),

Following a diagnosis of gall stones after a dull pain on the right side of my chest, I was referred for endoscopy by my general surgeon. He was not very specific in telling me why I needed an endoscopy and when I asked the endoscopist this he said he did not have access to the referral letter. None the less I went ahead with the procedure. I was anxious to avoid sedation so had the procedure with just a throat spray. The endoscopy was not what I would class as a pleasant experience but was over in about ten minutes and a few biopsies were taken from inflamed areas. In so far as I could judge the procedure was carried out competently. I was given an account of the visual findings by the endoscopist after the procedure. I was impressed to get an instant result of a test for helicobacter pylori (a bacterium associated with stomach ulcers). Everyone involved in my care was very pleasant and reassuring. Interestingly the endoscopist has never had an endoscopy! I would have thought this might be a standard part of the training experience (though I appreciate it is not a procedure without risks). I could walk home within a few minutes of the end of the procedure.

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