A flexible tube with a light and camera is used to visually inspect the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine.

How Should I Prepare for an Endoscopy?

  • You will need a driver on the day of the procedure as it will be unsafe for you to drive for several hours after receiving sedatives. Check the procedural areas with respect to the instructions to patients regarding needing a driver for the day of the procedure. If the patient is relying on this document this instruction needs to be more specific, and I have seen more detailed information with respect to post-procedural driving. For example, typically, patients are not permitted to take a taxi or Uber home.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure (including: candy, gum, mints; a sip of water with your medicine is OK).
  • People who wear dentures will be asked to remove them before the test.

What Happens During an Endoscopy?

  • You will report to the Hospital GI lab or the Outpatient endoscopy center on the day of your procedure. You will have an IV placed prior to your procedure. A doctor will give you medications to make you sleepy and prevent you from having discomfort during the procedure.
  • The doctor may also spray a local anesthetic (numbing medicine) into your mouth to stop you from gagging or coughing as the endoscope is inserted. You will also wear a mouthguard to prevent damage to your teeth or the endoscope.
  • During the procedure, you will be asked to lie on your left side. Once the sedatives have taken effect, the endoscope will be inserted into your mouth and passed down into your esophagus and stomach and the upper part of your small intestine (duodenum). Air is then passed through the endoscope so that your doctor can clearly see the lining of your upper gastrointestinal tract.
  • During the endoscopy procedure your doctor may take small tissue samples that can be examined under a microscope to identify any abnormalities in the cells. The process is called a biopsy.
  • The doctor may also place a small pH capsule in the lower esophagus to obtain information on how much acid reflux you may be having (see Bravo pH Testing Fact Sheet).
  • The complete test lasts approximately 10-15 minutes, and you will have sedation throughout.

After the EGD?

  • A nurse will observe you for about 30 minutes following the EGD test to make sure that the anesthetic has worn off and you are able to swallow without difficulty of severe discomfort.
  • You may feel slightly bloated and have mild abdominal cramping. You may also have a sore throat. These effects are quite normal and should go away within 24-48 hours. Wait to eat or drink until you can swallow comfortably.
  • Your doctor will review the results of all your testing at your follow-up appointment.

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