Ask any doctor if you should perform an endoscopy on yourself and they’d probably say no, which is why a video doing the rounds on Twitter has proven that medics are the masters of “do as I say, not as I do.” In it, we see a gastroenterologist armed with a scope just dive right in to his own gullet, taking us on a surprise journey into his esophagus and beyond.
During an endoscopy, a medical practitioner inserts a long, thin tube which has a camera attached to it into one of the body’s natural doorways. One of those is the mouth.
An upper endoscopy, also called an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, is a non-surgical means of looking at organs like your esophagus, stomach, and even the start of the small intestine. It’s often used to investigate troubling symptoms that could be indicative of an ulcer or cancer, among other things.
Depending on the type of endoscopy being carried out, patients may be sedated with general anesthetic or be awake. The procedure is not meant to be painful, but it can be uncomfortable, especially if you decide to perform one on yourself. The scope passing through the body can trigger natural reflexes like gagging, as demonstrated in this intriguing, if not a little disgusting, video.
Hopefully you don’t have an endoscope just kicking about, but on the off chance that you do, please don’t try this at home.
"Why would you perform an endoscopy on yourself?" I hear you cry. Well…
“The aim of this experiment and experience was to assess the pain and suffering of patients who undergo endoscopy without sedation or short GA [general anesthetic],” reads the caption below the YouTube video.
“This is probably for the first time in India, that a self assessment [upper gastrointestinal endoscopy] has been performed by a gastroenterologist on himself.” You don’t say.
The video was shared to Twitter by Dr Keith Siau, who specializes in matters pertaining to endoscopy, gut health, the liver and medicine. Siau previously opened our eyes to the fact that insects like ladybugs sometimes make an appearance during colonoscopies.
Do the wonders of the human digestive system never cease?