An upper endoscopy is a routine and commonly performed procedure, in which a highly trained doctor (called a gastroenterologist) inserts an endoscope (a flexible tube about the thickness of your finger that contains a miniature camera at the tip) into the mouth, down the esophagus, and into the stomach and duodenum (first portion of the small intestine), in order to carefully inspect the upper gastrointestinal tract. Patients are sedated and the procedure is typically painless. A typical upper endoscopy takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
To prepare for your upper endoscopy, there are a number of important steps you must take, including:
- If you are taking Coumadin (Warfarin), Plavix, Lovenox, Aggrenox, Pradaxa, Effient or any other blood thinning medication, make sure you know if and when you are to stop these medications. Please contact your doctor today if you are unsure.
- You may not drive following your exam for the remainder of the day. You must make arrangements for transportation and have a driver, whom you know, pick you up following your exam. If you do not have someone to drive you home your procedure will be canceled. You may take a taxi or other non-medical hired service only if you are accompanied by a responsible adult.
- Your procedure will last approximately two hours from the time you arrive to the time you are released. You may confirm your release time with the facility at the time of arrival.
There are also a number of steps to follow related to eating food, drinking fluids and taking medication that you should understand.