Just how safe is an endoscopy? INSIDE EDITION’s Jim Moret is about to find out.
Recently, Moret was hospitalized with stomach pains. So, his doctor suggested he get an endoscopy to check for ulcers or obstructions. That’s the same medical procedure that Joan Rivers was having when she succumbed to cardiac arrest.
Moret went to the Endoscopy Center of Santa Monica, an outpatient facility similar to the one in New York City where Rivers went.
Moret’s first question to Dr. Charles Frankel was, “Should I worry?”
Dr. Frankel said, “Endoscopies are extremely safe. This is the instrument that I will be putting down your esophagus.”
Moret asked, “You literally put a tube down my mouth, is there a camera on it?”
Dr. Frankel replied, “There is a camera. It's connected to a video and we look at a TV screen and we can actually see the esophagus and the stomach.”
Moret asked, “Does it hurt?”
“No,” replied Dr. Frankel.
Moret joked, “You paused. You paused a little bit!”
Anesthesiologist Tom Bohlmann put Moret under. His main job is to watch his signs and keep the patient alive and breathing.
Moret asked him, “Have you found that more patients are nervous since Joan Rivers' death?”
He said, “Yes.”
Moret said, “Understandably, I’m also a little anxious as I sit on the gurney. Just moments away from being knocked out with Propofol, the same anesthetic that killed Michael Jackson."
When Michael Jackson died we were all worried about Propofol. When Joan Rivers died we are focusing on endoscopies. Moret is having both Propofol and an endoscopy.
The operating room nurse took his temperature and hooked him up to the IV.
The nurse asked, ‘And you took your last little bit of water at 12:10 this afternoon. Nothing since then?”
“I had a steak. Is that ok? Ok, a pretty lame joke,” said Moret.
After all the tubes were in his veins the anesthesiologist gave him a sedative. He kissed his wife, Keri, before he was wheeled into the O.R.
The Propofol knocked him out so he couldn’t move or gag when the endoscope goes down his throat. The tube is over two feet long.
The images on the monitor are amazing. You could actually look inside Moret’s body. The camera showed his esophagus, stomach, and small intestine.
The anesthesiologist actually held Moret's chin up. It is a procedure that might have saved Joan Rivers' life by keeping her airway open.
The anesthesiologist said, "I'm just making sure that this minimizes any obstruction he would have with the sedation.”
After the doctor pinched off some tissue for a biopsy, he slowly removed the long tube. The whole procedure from start to finish took just ten minutes.
Moret will be in the recovery room longer than he was in the operating room.
So, what did the doctor find?”
The doctor said, “Thankfully, I did not find anything serious.”
Moret only had some irritation in the stomach lining from taking too much aspirin. As the anesthesia was wearing off, his throat didn’t even hurt.
Moret said, “It's a perfectly safe procedure. I felt like I was in great hands.”
The message: Don't shy away from an endoscopy just because it may seem a little scary.