What is an upper endoscopy?
An upper endoscopy is a procedure performed to evaluate the upper gastrointestinal system, including the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, for symptoms of upper abdominal pain, bleeding, nausea, vomiting, Barrett’s esophagus, difficulty swallowing, and the presence of ulcers or tumors. During the procedure, the physician examines the lining of your upper gastrointestinal tract through a thin, flexible lighted tube called an endoscope. If abnormal tissue is encountered during the procedure, biopsies/samples can be taken to aid in diagnosis. If you have difficulty swallowing, it may be possible to carefully dilate or stretch the walls of the esophagus so food can safely pass.
What happens during an upper endoscopy?
Expect to spend up to 2 hours at the endoscopy center the day of your procedure. The procedure itself takes about 15 – 20 minutes to complete.
During the procedure:
During your procedure the anesthesia provider will administer medications through an IV and monitor vital signs which is a process known as Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC). The anesthesiologist or CRNA will help determine the appropriate type of drug to be used during the procedure to keep you safe and comfortable.
What happens after the procedure?
The physician will discuss the results of the procedure with you, as well as a family member if you choose. You will also be given a written report and post procedure instructions. Some patients experience mild bloating, cramping, and/or a sore throat after the procedure. These symptoms are typically mild and resolve with time. Any tissue samples/biopsies or polyps removed during the procedure will be sent to a lab for evaluation. You will be contacted by phone or mail with the results in 1 – 2 weeks.
You may resume most of your regular activities the day after the procedure. Due to the medications given during the procedure DO NOT drive on the day of your procedure. You may resume your normal diet, but alcohol should be avoided until the next day after your procedure.