Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Many studies have found that flexible colonoscopy frequently necessary to examine pregnant patients with IBD is relative safe, with no considerable risk of complications for the expectant mother or the foetus [19]. The main indications for endoscopy during pregnancy and IBD are the need to confirm clinical suspicion of disease relapse and for management of complications such as gastrointestinal bleeding and biliary obstructions. Indications for flexible colonoscopy include haematochezia, chronic diarrhoea and abdominal and rectal pain. Moreover, this procedure is necessary in patients in the active disease stage who do not respond to medical therapy. Also, it may help those with atypical symptoms. As to colonoscopy during pregnancy, few data are available because of the limited casuistics although generally it should be reserved exclusively for patients where the diagnostic benefit is higher than the risk. Endoscopic examination of the superior intestinal tract is usually used less frequently than other procedures even although many studies emphasise good tolerability both for the expectant mother and the foetus as well as its high diagnostic value in the case of gastrointestinal bleeding.

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