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Upper Endoscopy

If your doctor feels you need to have an upper endoscopy you may have many questions. You may not know what the purpose of an upper endoscopy is. Simply put it is a procedure used to diagnose or treat conditions that involve the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine.

Let your doctor know that you want your procedure done at Outpatient Services East. The staff there will ensure you have the best care possible during and after endoscopy.

You will be given a sedative to help you relax during the procedure. So make plans to have someone with you the day of your procedure to drive you home and stay with you as long as you need them. It is important for patients to avoid working and making critical decisions for 24 hours following the procedure.Your doctor will give you specific instructions to prepare for your endoscopy. In some cases your doctor may ask that you:

  • Fast before the endoscopy. You will need to stop drinking and eating four to eight hours before your endoscopy to ensure your stomach is empty for the procedure.
  • Stop taking certain medications. You will need to stop taking certain blood-thinning medications in the days before your endoscopy. If you have chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure, your doctor will give you specific instructions regarding your medications.

Tell your doctor about all the medications and supplements you’re taking before your endoscopy.

During an upper endoscopy procedure, you’ll be asked to lie down on a table on your back or side. As the procedure gets underway:

  • Monitors often will be attached to your body. This will allow your he
  • Your doctor may spray an anesthetic in your mouth. This medication will numb your throat in preparation for insertion of the long, flexible tube (endoscope). You may be asked to wear a plastic mouth guard to hold your mouth open.
  • Then the endoscope is inserted in your mouth. Your doctor may ask you to swallow as the scope passes down your throat. You may feel some pressure in your throat, but you shouldn’t feel pain.

You can’t talk after the endoscope passes down your throat, though you can make noises. The endoscope doesn’t interfere with your breathing.

As your doctor passes the endoscope down your esophagus:

  • A tiny camera at the tip transmits images to a video monitor in the exam room. Your doctor watches this monitor to look for abnormalities in your upper digestive tract.
  • Gentle air pressure may be fed into your esophagus to inflate your digestive tract. This allows the endoscope to move freely. And it allows your doctor to more easily examine the folds of your digestive tract.
  • Your doctor will pass special surgical tools through the endoscope to collect a tissue sample or remove a polyp.

An endoscopy typically takes 15 to 30 minutes, depending on your situation. You will then be taken to recovery and monitored by the healthcare team while the sedative wears off.

Once you’re at home, you may experience some mildly uncomfortable signs and symptoms after endoscopy, such as:

  • Bloating and gas
  • Cramping
  • Sore throat

These signs and symptoms will improve with time. If you’re concerned or quite uncomfortable, call your doctor.

For more information call Outpatient Services East at 205-838-3888


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