FAQs For Patients Having An Upper Endoscopy
My Doctor has scheduled me for an upper endoscopy, Why?
An upper endoscopy procedure or EGD allows your doctor to look at the upper part of your digestive system, this includes:
- duodenum (the beginning of the small intestine)
Usually doctors do this test to discover the cause of a patient’s GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease, also just called acid reflux) or heartburn. Other symptoms the procedure helps with diagnosing are:
- Abdominal pain
- Swallowing disorders
- Nausea and vomiting
- Endoscopy can also help find tumors, inflammation and ulcers
The upper endoscopy lets your doctor see these areas better than with x-rays or other tests.
How does is this done? Will it hurt?
There is some minor discomfort but intravenous sedatives and pain medication keep you comfortable and drowsy. You will stay awake. The physician uses a thin flexible scope that has a light and tiny camera at its tip to enable the doctor to see your upper digestive system. The procedure takes between 15 and 30 minutes.
Am I Allowed To Eat Or Drink Before My Upper Endoscopy?
In order for your doctor to see, your stomach must be empty. So, do not eat or drink for six hours preceding the endoscopy, or as directed by your physician.
If you have high blood pressure, a heart conditions or thyroid condition you may take your usual medication for these conditions with a small swallow of water.
I am a diabetic. Can I take my insulin the day of the procedure?
Diabetics on insulin need an adjustment in insulin dosage the day of your procedure. Contact your diabetic care provider to help you with this adjustment and bring your diabetic medication to take when the procedure finishes.
Can I drive myself after the Upper Endoscopy?
No. You will have to bring an adult to drive you home following your endoscopy. Don’t drive or run equipment for at least 8 hours as the sedatives and pain medication you got during the endoscopy affects your judgment and causes drowsiness and dizziness.