Endoscopic suturing is a technique that allows a gastroenterologist to place stitches within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The procedure may be performed to suture a stent into place, to close an abnormal connection (fistula) between the GI tract and skin or a different part of the GI tract, or to seal a gastrointestinal leak.
How to Prepare for Endoscopic Suturing
If the procedure will be done through the mouth, you should not eat or drink anything after midnight prior to the procedure.
If the procedure will be done through the rectum, you will need to undergo bowel prep similar to preparing for a colonoscopy. Your doctor will provide you with specific instructions.
Your doctor will let you know if or when you should adjust or stop any medications you take. Because you will be sedated, you will need someone to drive you home after the procedure.
What to Expect
Endoscopic suturing is performed during an upper endoscopy or colonoscopy. You will receive pain-relieving medication and sedation through an IV line to relax you and make you feel drowsy.
If the stitches need to be placed within the upper GI tract (esophagus, stomach, or upper part of the small intestine), the endoscope is inserted through the throat. A mouth guard will be placed to protect your teeth and gums. Your throat may also be numbed with a spray to calm the gag reflex. If the stitches need to be placed within the lower GI tract (colon and rectum), the endoscope is inserted through the anus.
Your doctors will place the sutures using specialized instruments inserted through the endoscope. After the procedure, you will be taken to the recovery room while the sedative wears off. You may experience temporary discomfort, such as sore throat (if you had an upper endoscopy) gas, bloating, or cramps. Your doctor will discuss any unexpected side effects that may occur and a plan to address them.
Your doctor will review the results of your procedure and discuss any further treatment plan options during your follow-up appointment.
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