Upper Endoscopy is the visual examination of the lining of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The results obtained from upper endoscopy can be useful in preventing, diagnosing and treating a variety of gastrointestinal diseases.
How do I prepare for upper endoscopy?
You should not eat or drink anything after 11:00PM on the day prior to the procedure. Tell him/her if you have any medical or cardiac conditions or allergies to any medications. Certain medications (ie: Coumadin, aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications and vitamin E) can increase the likelihood of bleeding during/after colonoscopy and often need to be discontinued for one week prior to the examination.
Please provide your doctor with a complete medication list and contact the office 2 weeks prior to your procedure if you have questions regarding the use of these medications. If you take heart or blood pressure medication, please take at least 2 (two) hours prior to the procedure with a tiny sip of water.
Transportation arrangements must be made (family member or friend) to drive you home after the procedure, and you should not drive a car for at least twelve hours after the administration of sedation.
What happens during upper endoscopy?
Prior to the procedure, an intravenous catheter (IV) will be placed in a vein in your arm. Females of childbearing age may be asked to undergo a pregnancy test. Medicine (sedation) will be injected to help you feel relaxed and sleepy. While lying on your left side, the flexible endoscope will be inserted into the mouth and the examination will begin. Biopsies can be obtained at the time of endoscopy should your physician feel that this is indicated.
Is it safe?
Upper endoscopy is a very well tolerated and safe examination. Potential, but uncommon complications include (but are not limited to) bleeding, esophageal, gastric or intestinal perforation and those related to anesthesia.
What can I expect after the examination?
Your doctor will discuss the findings with you after your examination. It is recommended that a family member or close friend be present during this discussion. If biopsy or polyp specimens have been sent to the pathologist, please contact the office 10 days after your examination and the doctor will discuss the results with you.
- Bleeding: Bleeding may occur immediately after taking a biopsy or after removal of a polyp. Although rare, the risk of bleeding may still be present up to 14 days after polypectomy.
- Pain: Some patients may experience discomfort or bloating due to the air that was pumped into the gastrointestinal tract during upper endoscopy, but this usually subsides within a few hours. If sharp or persistent pain develops, please contact our office.
- Medications: You may be asked to avoid certain medications if specimens are obtained. These typically include aspirin-containing medications, Coumadin, Plavix, and any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, Aleve, etc.) Acetaminophen (Tylenol) does not promote bleeding, and can therefore be used. Most other prescribed medications may be resumed immediately after the procedure. It is necessary for you to have arranged transportation home, as you should not drive a car for 12 hours after the administration of anesthesia.
- Food: Your doctor will recommend a diet for you following your upper endoscopy. DO NOT drink alcohol for the next twelve hours. You may resume a regular diet the day after the procedure.
- Activities: The sedation you received will make you less alert than usual. DO NOT make any major decisions, drive a car or operate machinery for at least twelve hours. Strenuous exercise should not be performed for approximately 24 hours, or longer if advised by your physician.