OBJECTIVE: To evaluate prospectively the complications that occurred during consecutive endoscopies of the upper gastrointestinal tract. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We evaluated all endoscopies of the upper gastrointestinal tract (except endoscopic retrograde cholanglopancreatography and endosonography) performed at the Ambulatory Surgical Center at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla, between January 1999 and June 2002. A staff gastroenterologist with or without a trainee performed these procedures. Therapeutic procedures included esophageal band ligation, injection sclerotherapy, botulinum toxin injection, extended upper endoscopy, pneumatic balloon dilation, endoscopic mucosal resection, and endoscopic ablation using thermal laser, argon beam coagulator, or photodynamic therapy. All complications were tabulated prospectively as per mandatory state licensure reporting. RESULTS: Complications after diagnostic endoscopy of the upper gastrointestinal tract were related to anesthesia in 2 of the 12,841 patients. Perforations in 5 patients were associated with esophageal dilation (2), resection of duodenal lesions (2), or passage of a side-viewing instrument into the duodenum (1). No deaths occurred. CONCLUSIONS: Diagnostic endoscopy of the upper gastrointestinal tract is safe, with a complication rate of less than 1 per 5000 cases. Therapeutic endoscopy increases the risk of complications. Compared with complication rates published previously, our results from a single center indicate a favorable reduction in complications related to endoscopy of the upper gastrointestinal tract.
ASJC Scopus subject areas