Upper Endoscopy

Upper Endoscopy

This one of a series of tests requested by my Bariatric Surgeon

Upper endoscopy is a procedure that enables a gastroenterologist to examine the esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, and duodenum (first portion of small bowel) using a thin, flexible tube called the upper endoscope.  This procedure needs to be done in a hospital (day surgery) because it is carried out under a general anesthetic.

I have only had a couple of very minor sugical procedures under general anesthetic, and I am fascinated by how effective the anesthtic is (touch wood)…. One minute you are talking to the anesthetis, the next moment you are waking up post surgery.  It only takes second for the anesthetic to take effect and you have absolutoely no recollection of anythin while you are out – no dreams.. nothing.

This time (for fun) I thought I would try to “fight the anaesthetic… So when the drip started I toild myself stay awake… stay awake… stay…. and then I woke up in the recovery ward 40 minutes later.

Because this was a hospital procedure, my Private Health Insurance covered the Hostpital/Operating Theatre componetns (expect of course for a $500 excess), but I still had a gap fee for the Anesthetist ($150) and Gastroenterologist ($200)… Total cost to me $850


Ultrasound, CT Scan & Chest Xray

Ultrasound, CT Scan & Chest Xray

This was the first of a series of tests requested by my Bariatric Surgeon

CT Scan

This was my first ever CT Scan… A CT scan uses x-rays to make detailed cross-sectional images of your body. it is that big doughnut like machine that has  components which spins. around your body as it moves through on a motorised sled… Very impressive bit of machinery….

An abdominal CT scan helps the surgeon see the organs, blood vessels, and bones in your abdominal cavity. The multiple images provided give many different views of your body.

First I had to drink a litre of “water” over 45 minutes – a cup every 5 minutes or so.  Not much of a challenge I thought… but the “water” wasn’t actually water, it was an oral contrast – a liquid that contains barium solution designed to show up in the x-ray.  The first cup wasn’t too bad – a mild aniseed flavour… but cupfull after cupfull, the flavour certainly doesn’t grow on you.

Immediately prior to the scan I was also injected with a contrast dye to highlight blood vessels, organs, and other structures.  It apparently only take 8seconds from injection to brain… what an impressive machine the human body is.

Chest X-ray

Very simple and quick… stand in front of a machine, dont move, click buzz and it is all done.

Abdominal Ultrasound

Again, pretty straightforward… Lie on you back and the nurse rubs on some gel and prods around a bit with the ultrasound head, roll on your side.. same thing… Then you get to wipe all the goo off… and all done.

Some of these test were bulk billed, but others I had to pay for – around $200