During an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, a doctor inserts the tip of a thin, flexible viewing instrument down the throat and into the stomach and upper gastrointestinal tract. Your doctor may order an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy to look at the interior lining of your esophagus, stomach, and the first part of your small intestine (duodenum). An endoscopy can reveal problems that do not show up on X-rays, and it may eliminate the need for exploratory surgery. Using the endoscope, your doctor can look for ulcers, inflammation, tumors, infection or bleeding. Your doctor can also remove polyps, treat bleeding, and collect tissue samples if necessary.
To help you be as comfortable as possible during your procedure, a local anesthetic spray will numb your throat and a mild sedative with pain medication will relax you. Most patients experience very little discomfort.
Before you have an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, tell your doctor if you:
- Have ever had surgery on your esophagus, stomach or your small intestine
- Have a heart condition
- Are allergic to anesthetics or any medicines
- Are taking any medicines, including blood thinners
- Have bleeding problems
- Are or may be pregnant
- Are taking insulin for diabetes
Do not take antacids the day of your test.
Do not eat or drink for 6 to 8 hours beforehand.
Arrange to have someone drive you home due to the effects of the sedative you will receive.
You will feel sleepy after the test until the sedative wears off in a few hours. Many people remember very little of the procedure.
After the test, you may feel bloated until all the air introduced during the procedure has passed out of your system. You may also have a mildly sore, tickling throat or slight hoarseness. Gargling with warm saltwater and using throat lozenges for a few days can help. Do not drink alcohol after the test.
Bleeding may occur if biopsy samples are taken or polyps are removed. This bleeding usually stops on its own without treatment.
Your physician can schedule an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy appointment with one of our gastroenterologists for you. An initial consultation with a physician is recommended to determine the appropriateness of this screening for your specific condition.