It Hurts to Eat After Endoscopy? Complications and What to Eat

Upper endoscopies are an excellent way for your doctor to accurately assess what’s going on in the rest of your digestive system. However, although it is a comparatively safer procedure, it can still lead to complications like puncturing or bleeding from the assessed organ.

However, usually, it hurts to eat after endoscopy, but why?

Upper endoscopy is a minor invasive procedure that uses a flexible camera to examine the upper gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine. However, it doesn’t pose any severe complications but can lead to symptoms such as sore throat, or bleeding in the esophagus, thus leading to discomfort and pain while eating food!

Let’s explore the different concerns related to endoscopy!

Does It Really Hurt to Eat After Endoscopy?

Usually, any operative procedure intends to cause pain and discomfort afterward. So is the case with endoscopy, as it might hurt the internal upper digestive tract sometimes by hurting the lining.

However, your query is somewhat contradictory. 

Pain while eating after an endoscopy is generally usual. You might experience extreme discomfort while eating after an endoscopic examination because an endoscope can damage the esophageal lining, thus leading to a mild sore throat.

hurts-to-eat-after-endoscopy

Moreover, you might experience bloating, gas, cramping, and nausea, which causes troublesome feeding lately. So take precautions with your diet.

However, in rare cases, many patients might not experience discomfort after endoscopy and start eating regular healthy diets without any restrictions right after the biopsy!

Due to this reason, you’re obliged to follow a particular diet after your endoscopy to heal earlier.

Therefore, following your doctor’s advice regarding meals after an endoscopy examination is essential, according to the severity of the pain you suffer!

How Long Does It Hurt to Swallow After Endoscopy?

Most often, patients don’t experience any trouble while having their meals after endoscopy.

However, occasionally, it hurts to eat after endoscopy. This is because of a sore throat, a significant procedure complication. It occurs as a result of tears and perforations in the lining of the throat, thus making it hard for the patient to swallow.

However, swallowing after an endoscopy might hurt for as long as 1-2 days.

Until then, avoid eating regular meals. Try sipping small sips of water. Moreover, you can take easily-digestible meals like soup, juices, drinks, eggs, etc., till you completely recover from the discomfort!

What to Eat After Endoscopy?

Generally, you’re not allowed to eat or drink anything after an endoscopy until the swallowing gets comfortable enough for you. Start consuming anything when you feel back to normal.

easily-digestable-milk

However, after 24-48 hours of post-procedure, you can intake small and easily digestible meals, mainly fluids like water, soup, juices, applesauce, eggs, puddings, etc. moreover, avoid consuming beverages like alcohol, which might not be suitable for your gut.

However, you can resume your regular diet as soon as you fully recover!

What Foods to Avoid After Endoscopy?

However, you should avoid the following foods after upper endoscopy;

  • Spicy foods that might cause inflammation in the gut mucosal lining
  • Fatty foods to prevent any unnecessary lesion
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Caffeine
  • Fried foods that might cause abdominal cramping and bloating
junk-food

Complications of Endoscopy

Is there any pain after endoscopy? Mostly the answer is a yes, but occasionally a no too!

You might experience several types of discomfort after an endoscopic examination. The most common ones include bloating, gas, sore throat, cramping, and nausea.

However, these symptoms can lead to several pains like stomach pain, throat pain, or esophageal pain after an endoscopic biopsy!

Somehow, many people stay safe from every sort of discomfort after endoscopy in rare cases!

Nevertheless, these symptoms (bloating, cramping, gas, sore throat, nausea) are usually considered normal and should disappear after 24 hours or 48 hours at max. If the condition doesn’t alleviate and worsens with time, consult your healthcare provider immediately!

Upper endoscopy is considered a safe procedure with only minor complications.

However, there are some risk factors that you should be aware of, which include the risk of internal bleeding and infection during the procedure itself.

Some potential risks include;

  • Heart problems due to sedation
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble eating or swallowing
  • Sore throat
  • Pain in throat
  • Chest pain and rib cage pain after endoscopy (rare)
  • Stomach pain after endoscopy
  • Esophagus pain
  • Black or bloody stool
  • Fever
  • Vomiting

Although it is safe to undergo an endoscopy biopsy, it might still lead to complications such as rib cage pain, throat pain, stomach pain, etc.

However, let’s discuss some of the significant concerns regarding complications after endoscopy and what causes pain after endoscopy!

Chest Pain After Endoscopy Biopsy

Chest pain after an endoscopy isn’t normal.

However, if you ever experience chest pain or rib cage pain after endoscopy biopsy, seek medical assistance immediately as it might indicate ischemic heart disease.

chest-pain

Moreover, it might also signify pneumonia, one of the most prevailing complications of endoscopy, resulting in recurrent attacks of chest pain.

Stomach Pain After Endoscopy (Is It Normal to Have Stomach Pain After Endoscopy?)

The gut is a susceptible area, and sometimes endoscopic tools cause some damage to it. This may result in bleeding, infection, or perforation, which is rare.

Therefore, it is possible to have post-endoscopic stomach pain leading to symptoms like bloating, nausea, grogginess, etc.

stomach-pain

Moreover, you can ease this discomfort by eating specific foods after an endoscopy. Also, try opting for OTC medicines for gut pain relief for betterment!

Esophagus Pain After Endoscopy

Endoscopy can cause a tear or perforation in the lining of the upper digestive system, including the esophagus.

Therefore, it is one of the most probable complications of endoscopy to suffer esophageal pain.

However, your query; why does it hurt to swallow after endoscopy? It gets answered here as well!

The esophagus pain after an endoscopy makes swallowing troublesome due to excessive pressure exerted on the esophageal sphincters while ingesting food; thus, whenever you eat anything 1 or 2 days post-procedure, it usually hurts to eat after endoscopy!

How Long Does Pain Last After Endoscopy?

Usually, any pain or discomforting symptom after an endoscopy lasts for two days.

However, if you still experience pain after 48 hours, consult your doctor immediately, as it might indicate any other serious underlying health issues!

endoscopy-process

However, to recover completely from this minimally invasive procedure, a person can take as minimal as two days or as long as two weeks, depending upon the severity of the process!

Necessary Precautions to Follow Prior to Endoscopy:

  • Prior to the procedure, it is essential to be in a fasting state for over 5 hours.
  • Moreover, your doctor might advise you to get rid of any medication 3-5 days before the procedure, particularly blood thinning medications. Blood thinning medications include aspirin, clopidogrel, and anything with antiplatelet functioning.

Therefore, strictly follow the precautions!

Why Is Upper Endoscopy Done?

Upper endoscopy is usually done to treat any conditions or infections in the upper digestive system (esophagus, colon, and upper part of duodenum).

However, it is done for the following purposes;

Investigation of Symptoms:

It is used to investigate the following symptoms relating to digestive issues;

  • Heartburn or flatulence
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Difficulty in swallowing food
  • Prior to weight loss surgery

Diagnosis of Diseases:

Upper endoscopy offers biopsy for diagnosis of diseases leading to the following conditions;

  • Anemia
  • Bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding of internal organs
  • Cancers of the upper digestive tract

Treatment of Various Conditions:

An upper endoscopy is also done to treat conditions like;

  • Stopping bleeding by burning a bleeding vessel
  • Widening of the narrow esophagus
  • Clipping off a polyp
  • Removal of a foreign object from the upper digestive tract

Final Verdict

An endoscopy (or, more typically, esophagogastroduodenoscopy) is a minimally invasive operative procedure used to assist the internal health (lining of the upper digestive tract) and condition of the upper digestive system through a video screen when conditions like trouble swallowing or persistent nausea and vomiting occur.

However, endoscopy results in symptoms like sore throat, bloating, and cramping, which are the influencers of complications like stomach pain, esophageal pain, throat pain, and so on.

However, suppose it hurts to eat after endoscopy. In that case, there is nothing to worry about, as it is one of the most common complications of endoscopy, which is a consequence of sore throat, leading to esophageal discomfort while eating.

Nevertheless, the symptoms might disappear 1-2 days after the procedure. However, if the condition worsens, consult your doctor immediately, as it might indicate any other serious health issue.

Note that the recovery time might vary in some cases, even expanding to two weeks, depending upon the severity of the procedure! 

FAQs

Let’s check out some of the frequently asked questions.

What Is Endoscopy?

Endoscopy is a medical procedure that allows a doctor to examine the internal health of various organs. A flexible camera (an endoscope) is directly inserted inside the organ or cavity of the body for complete health check-ups of internal organs.

Although there are several types of endoscopies, for now, our prime focus will be on upper endoscopy!

Upper endoscopy is a procedure used to examine your upper digestive system visually. It is a fantastic way to assess internal gastrointestinal health properly through a flexible endoscope.

However, a gastroenterologist might also use endoscopy to operate on any infections associated with the upper digestive tract. Moreover, an upper digestive endoscopy is also termed esophagogastroduodenoscopy in medical terms.

Is it normal for your chest to hurt after an endoscopy?

Chest discomfort isn’t normal after an endoscopy. It might be risky as an indication of heart-related issues.

Therefore, whenever you experience chest pain, immediately consult your doctor, as it might be due to ischemic heart disease or, more often, pneumonia!

Can an endoscopy irritate your esophagus?

Absolutely yes!

Endoscopy is more likely to irritate your esophagus. Sore throat mainly witnesses that!

However, you might experience hoarse or coughing with congestion after the procedure as one of the major complications!

Is It Normal for Throat to Hurt After Endoscopy?

Sore throat is a common side effect of endoscopy procedures, but it’s an understudied condition that many patients experience.

However, it is normal for patients to suffer throat pain after undergoing upper endoscopy. Moreover, the sore throat may last up to 1-2 days.

Minahil Laraib Asif

Minahil Laraib Asif

Hi, This is Minahil Laraib Asif, an MBBS student from Karachi Medical and Dental College (KMDC) in Pakistan. Studying medicine is my passion, and the desire to live my life in service to humanity has led me to pursue my career in medicine. As a medical student, it's essential to know how to balance projects and work while maintaining a healthy social life. Investigating and exploring newer disclosures has always been a source of gratification for me. For this reason, I have developed my career in writing articles as well, since it brings me great delight while researching various projects, and presenting such information to people, that they may otherwise never come across.

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