An upper endoscopy is a common procedure that is often performed in an outpatient facility to explore the upper gastrointestinal tract.
While sedated, a scope with a camera and a light on the end is placed through your upper digestive tract so that the doctor can look to see if there are any health concerns. The upper tract includes the stomach, esophagus, and a small area of the intestine. An endoscopy is usually performed to determine if there are any issues with the gastric system or to see if there is any bleeding in this part of the stomach.
This is a procedure that is often performed to determine reasons behind heartburn, nausea and vomiting, issues with swallowing, or bleeding that is associated with the digestive tract. While the scope is in the digestive tract, your doctor can remove polyps or remove areas to biopsy.
There is usually nothing that you need to do to prepare for the endoscopy. However, you should tell your doctor if you are or could be pregnant or if you have any health issues that could interact with the medications given for sedation. Avoid eating or drinking for about eight hours before the procedure begins. You should have someone with you to take you home after the procedure because you will likely be drowsy from the sedation medications.
When you arrive for your upper endoscopy, your doctor will go over what will happen from the time you receive anesthesia to what the doctor might be looking for with the scope. This is a time when you should ask any questions that you have about the procedure so that you’re as prepared as possible. After the procedure, your doctor will talk with the person who is with you to explain any findings and to talk about what will happen next pertaining to your symptoms.
The anesthesiologist might spray a medication in your throat that will numb it to prevent discomfort from the scope being run down your esophagus and into your stomach. Medications will be given through an IV to sedate you for the endoscopy. While in the operating room, you will be positioned so that you’re on your left side as this is the best way to get a good look at your digestive tract. You will be in the operating room for about 15 minutes depending on what your doctor finds.
After The Procedure
You will be taken to a recovery area so that you can wake up from the sedatives that were given. When you’re comfortable, you can put your clothes on and talk with your doctor or nurse if you have any questions. Any tissue samples taken for a biopsy will be tested, and you’ll usually receive the results in a few days. When you get home, your throat could be a bit sore, but you should be able to resume normal activities later in the day. Any further medical attention will be discussed at your follow-up appointment or the same day if anything is discovered during the endoscopy.