Oconee Regional Medical Center

Preparation for GI

Preparation for GI Procedures

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Preparation for GI Procedures

Preparation for GI Procedures in the Ambulatory Care Unit

Oconee Regional Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU) provides state-of-the-art patient care for both inpatients and outpatients requiring upper or lower gastro-intestinal (GI) studies. Our GI procedure rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art high definition scopes and monitors.

Available G.I. Unit procedures include:

  • E.R.C.P. Studies (endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography) for the intensive study of the gall bladder, pancreas and bile ducts.
  • Endoscopy and Colonoscopy, a minimally invasive procedure to view the gastrointestinal system including the esophagus, stomach and colon.
  • The Endoscopy Unit also performs PH monitoring to assess for reflux.

The G.I. physicians are assisted by specially trained GI Registered Nurses. The Ambulatory Care Unit is open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Prior to Your Procedure

The Ambulatory Care Unit staff will generally call within 24 hours before your procedure to review your medical history and any relevant prior tests. They will also review your medications. During the call, please have information available about all of the medications you take. If no contact is made, please bring either a detailed list of your medications (including dosage amounts and the number of times taken per day) or bring your medications in their pharmacy bottles.

The Day Before – Required Preparation

If you are having a colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy or other endoscopic procedure, your physician will give you instructions on how to prepare for your exam. You must follow these instructions as closely as possible in order for the physician to perform your exam. If you have any problems with your preparation, call your physician, even if it is after hours.

If you are a diabetic and having a colonoscopy, please contact your physician for instructions on how much insulin or oral diabetic medicine you should take on the bowel preparation day and the procedure day. Also, continue to take all blood pressure medications and heart medications these two days.

If you take aspirin or other blood thinning medications (Coumadin, Plavix, Warfarin, Aggrenox, etc.), ask your doctor if you should stop taking them prior to your procedure.

You will be on a clear liquid diet the day before your procedure. This means no solid foods or dairy products. You may have an unlimited amount of liquids during this day. Clear liquids include: water, apple juice, cranberry juice, clear broths, tea, soft drinks, sports drinks, coffee (without milk, cream, or dry creamer products), jello, popsicles.

Avoid drinks, jello, or popsicles containing red coloration. The more clear liquids you drink, the better your prep will work and the less dehydrated you will be on your test day.

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Preparation for GI Procedures: Procedure Day and Information

Procedure Day

When you arrive for your procedure, report to the Registration area on the 1stfloor of Park Tower of Oconee Regional Medical Center. Patients coming to the hospital for GI outpatient procedures will begin and end their stay in Ambulatory Care Unit. Here you will: When you arrive for your procedure, report to the Registration area on the 1 floor of Park Tower of Oconee Regional Medical Center. Patients coming to the hospital for GI outpatient procedures will begin and end their stay in Ambulatory Care Unit. Here you will:

  • Check in. Registered nurses will be waiting for you to check you in, answer any questions and make sure you are properly prepared for your procedure.
  • Recovery. Many of the outpatient procedures done in a hospital setting require conscious sedation. Our staff is specially trained in recovery room procedures to make your stay as pleasant as possible.
  • Depart for home. Before you leave we will make sure you and a family member have been completely briefed on you discharge instructions.

The morning of your procedure, you may brush your teeth, remembering not to swallow. You should take your blood pressure and heart medications with just enough water to swallow your pills. Please wear loose comfortable clothing (elastic waist bottoms and short sleeve shirts), slip on shoes with warm socks, and limited jewelry. Women should also remove fingernail polish. You need to have someone drive you to the hospital, stay during your procedure/recovery, and drive you home. This person is required to stay at the hospital the duration of your procedure/recovery. Failure to have someone with you may result in the cancellation of your procedure. After your procedure, plan on remaining at home for the rest of the day. You cannot drive or operate any machinery. Avoid making any important decisions or signing legal documents. The day after your exam, you may resume your usual daily activities.
Specific Procedure Information

EGD: Upper endoscopy or endoscopic gastroduodenoscopy.

Purpose: The purpose of an EGD to look inside your esophagus, stomach, and the first part of your small intestine. It is used to evaluate problems like heartburn, acid reflux, ulcers, or stomach pain.

Preparation: If you are having an EGD, your physician will give you instructions on how to prepare for your exam. You must follow these instructions as closely as possible in order for the physician to perform your exam. If you have any problems with your preparation, call your physician, even if it is after hours.

If you are a diabetic and having an EGD, please contact your physician for instructions on how much insulin or oral diabetic medicine you should take on the day before and the procedure day. Also continue to take all blood pressure medications and heart medications these two days.

If you take aspirin or other blood thinning medications (Coumadin, Plavix, Warfarin, Aggrenox, etc.), ask your doctor if you should stop taking them prior to your procedure.

Procedure for Endoscopy: For the examination, an IV will be started through which you will get medications which will help you relax, make you sleepy and to minimize discomfort. Medicine will be sprayed into your throat to make it numb. You will swallow a thin, bendable scope. The doctor will move the scope down your throat and into your stomach. The scope will also blow air into your stomach. This opens the stomach up so the doctor can see. You may feel pressure from the air. The doctor may take a small piece of tissue for testing. A PEG placement may also be performed (see additional information below), with a small incision made on the abdomen to allow a small, flexible, hollow tube with a balloon or flared tip to be inserted through the stomach.

After Care: After your procedure, plan on remaining at home for the rest of the day. You cannot drive or operate any machinery. Avoid making any important decisions or signing legal documents. The day after your exam, you may resume your usual daily activities. The Ambulatory Care Department will give you after care instructions. If a PEG tube was placed, you will be given instructions on how to care for the tube.

PEG placement: Feeding tube placement or percutaneous endoscopic gastroscopy.

Purpose: A PEG placement is the insertion of a feeding tube through the abdominal wall into the stomach during an EGD. PEG tube insertion may be recommended for patients who are unable to swallow correctly, malnourished patients, and patients who continually aspirate when eating.

Colonoscopy
: A colonoscopy is a visual exam of the lining of the large intestine.

Purpose: The reasons for to perform a colonoscopy include preventive medicine to identify pre-cancerous polyps or other abnormalities, cases where patients have a family history of colon cancer, and evaluation of GI symptoms (rectal bleeding, constipation, abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas, hemorrhoids).

Procedure for Colonoscopy: It is performed with a colonoscope, a flexible tube with a light and a camera that allows the doctor to make a visual examination.

Preparation: Your physician will give you a detailed instruction sheet for this procedure.