At times, in cases of chronic diarrhea, unexplained stomach aches, bleeding, failure to gain weight, suspected celiac, absorption problems and acute heartburn, the need arises to conduct an endoscopic examination of the digestive system. During this test, a super thin tube made of a flexible optic fiber with a tiny camera at its end is inserted into the intestine. This provides for an excellent quality view of the digestive system's tissue, and for biopsy sampling as needed.
Each year, our unit conducts over 600 endoscopic procedures in children, including colonoscopies, gastroscopies, insertion of enteral feeding tubes and rectal biopsies. Our clients range in age from preterm babies weighing less than 2 kilograms up to 18 year olds.
All endoscopic procedures are carried out under deep sedation done by a certified anesthesiologist with experience in pediatric anesthesia, providing for a pain-free, anxiety-free experience. The procedure usually begins with sedation through a strawberry flavored gas-mask. Each patient is sensitively and personally instructed and informed of the entire procedure in advance by the care team.
Children await endoscopies in a waiting room designed especially for them. The room is equipped with computers, games, DVDs and activities with animals. In this fun room, staff members from the Paediatric Educational Institute attached to the children's hospital prepare the children for sedation. These steps are all taken to ensure that each child enters the procedure emotionally prepared, devoid of anxiety.