An endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure used to examine a person’s digestive tract. Using an endoscope, a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it, your provider can view pictures of your digestive tract on a color TV monitor.
During an upper endoscopy, an endoscope is easily passed through the mouth and throat and into the esophagus allowing the provider to view the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine.
Why Do I Need an Upper Endoscopy?
Providers will often recommend endoscopy to evaluate:
- Stomach pain
- Ulcers, gastritis, or difficulty swallowing
- Digestive tract bleeding
In addition, your provider may use an endoscope to take a biopsy (removal of tissue) to look for the presence of disease.
Endoscopy may also be used to treat a digestive tract problem. For example, the endoscope might not only detect active bleeding from an ulcer, but devices can be passed through the endoscope that can stop the bleeding.
How Do I Prepare for an Upper Endoscopy Procedure?
View the below document to learn how to prepare for an endoscopy procedure.
What Happens After an Upper Endoscopy?
After you have an upper endoscopy:
- You will stay in a recovery room for about 30 minutes for observation.
- You will need to have a responsible adult drive you home, as it is unsafe to drive or operate machinery for approximately 8 hours after the procedure (due to the sedative medication used).
- You can resume your normal diet.
Be sure to read your discharge instructions carefully. Certain medications, such as blood-thinning agents, may need to be avoided temporarily if biopsies were taken or polyps were removed.