The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


Pre-existing medical conditions


If you have any of the following pre-existing medical conditions, please read the information below and telephone the Endoscopy Department on 0113 3922585 so that we can make suitable arrangements for your procedure.

Diabetes

If you are attending for an endoscopic procedure and have diabetes, we will send you the relevant information about how to manage your diabetes whilst preparing for your endoscopic procedure, so that your endoscopy procedure can be booked at a suitable time.

If you have already received your diabetes advice with your appointment then we already know you are diabetic, and there is no need to ring us unless you have any questions.

Leaflets with specific advice for diabetes for patients attending for endoscopy, colonoscopy and both procedures are available to download:

Diabetic patients who are having a gastroscopy
Diabetic patients who are having a colonoscopy
Diabetic patients who are having a gastroscopy and colonoscopy (multiple procedure)

Blood thinning medication

It is important you notify us if you are taking any blood thinning medication (see below). Often the doctor who has asked us to do your Endoscopic procedure will have informed us of this medication and if you need to continue it for your test. Some patients need to come off their medication before their test - we will let you know if you need to stop taking it in your appointment letter.

Occasionally some patients are asked to stop their Warfarin or anticoagulant tablets and instead take an alternative injected medicine (heparin) to thin their blood. Again, if you need to do this then we will let you know.

Below is a list of blood thinning drugs:

  • Warfarin, Dabigatran, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Edoxaban. 
  • Aspirin (this does not need usually need to be stopped for endoscopy)
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix), Ticegralor (Brilligue), Dipyridamole (Persantin), Prasugrel (Efient), Acenocoumarol (Sinthrome)
  • Heparin (usually injected under the skin)

It is important you notify us if you are taking any of these medications (except aspirin alone) and have not received instructions on what to do before the endoscopy.

We will also let you know after your Endoscopic procedure what you need to do about restarting your medication and/or when you need to have a repeat blood test to check your INR level. If you do not receive instructions please ask.

If you have already received advice about blood thinners with your appointment letter then there is no need to ring us unless you have any questions.

Pacemakers or Implantable Defibrillators

Having a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator does not stop you having an endoscopic procedure. However, it is important that we know in advance if you have one. Often the doctor who has asked us to do your Endoscopic procedure will have informed us if you have a pacemaker or defibrillator. We will let you know on your appointment letter if there are any special instructions regarding this or if it needs re-programing for your procedure. If it is, then we will ensure that it is reset before you go home. 

If you have a pacemaker or defibrillator but do not receive any instructions with your letter then please contact the pre assessment nurses who will then provide you with further advice.

Sleep Apnoea

Having sleep apnoea can affect your endoscopic procedure as we often offer patients sedative drugs to relax them and these sedative drugs can affect your breathing. Often the doctor who has asked us to do your Endoscopic procedure will have informed us if you have sleep apnoea but if you have any doubts then it is important you contact the pre-assessment team to inform them. 

Sedative drugs have a stronger effect on breathing in patients with sleep apnoea so we often recommend reduced doses and prolonged monitoring in recovery after an endoscopy. Alternatively you may wish to have the endoscopic procedure without sedation. This can all be discussed in more detail when you come for your appointment or in advance with the pre assessment nurses if you have any questions.

If you use a CPAP machine then please ensure that you bring this with you on the day of your endoscopy procedure. After the procedure you will need to be monitored in the endoscopy department for four hours before being re-assessed to ensure that you are fit to be discharged. As with any patient who has been given sedation for their endoscopic procedure, you will need to be accompanied and have somebody to look after you for 24 hours after the procedure.