A procedure performed to evaluate the upper GI tract.
What is an upper endoscopy?
An upper endoscopy is a procedure performed to evaluate symptoms of upper abdominal pain, bleeding, nausea, vomiting or difficulty swallowing. During the procedure, the physician examines the lining of your esophagus, stomach and the first part of your small intestine through a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope. If growths or other abnormalities are found, the physician may remove the abnormal tissue for further examination, or biopsy. If you have difficulty swallowing, it may be possible for the area to be expanded during the procedure.
What happens during an upper endoscopy?
Plan to spend up to 2 hours at the endoscopy center the day of your procedure. The procedure itself takes about 15 minutes to complete.
Before the procedure:
Your medical history will be reviewed with you by your health care team including a nurse, your gastroenterology physician and an anesthesia provider. An IV line will be placed.
During the procedure:
During your procedure, the anesthesia provider will administer medications and monitor vital signs which is a process known as Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC). While most patients sleep through the procedure, some remain awake and aware. The anesthesiologist and/or certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) will help determine the appropriate type of drug to be used during the procedure to keep you safe and comfortable.
What happens after the procedure?
The physician will talk with you about the initial results of your procedure and will prepare a full report for the healthcare provider who referred you for your upper endoscopy. You may have some bloating after the procedure which is normal. Your throat may feel sore for a short time. Any tissue samples or polyps removed during the procedure will be sent to a lab for evaluation. It may take 5-7 working days for you to be notified of the results by mail or through the Patient Portal.
You may resume most of your regular activities the day after the procedure. However, medication given during the procedure will prohibit you from driving for the rest of the day. You may resume your normal diet, but alcohol should be avoided until the next day after your procedure.
Are there possible complications from an upper endoscopy?
Although serious complications are rare, any medical procedure has the potential for risks. Risks from an upper endoscopy include perforation, or a tear, of the lining of the stomach or esophagus, bleeding from a biopsy site, reactions to medications, heart and lung problems, and dental or eye injuries.