endoscopy is a routine, outpatient
procedure in which the inside
of the upper digestive system
is examined. During the procedure,
a physician uses an endoscope,a
long, thin, flexible instrument
about 1/2 inch in diameter, to
examine the inside of the upper
The procedure is commonly used
to help identify the causes
- Abdominal or chest pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swallowing disorders
Endoscopy can also help identify
inflammation, ulcers and tumors.
Upper endoscopy is more accurate
than x-rays for detecting abnormal
growths and for examining the
inside of the upper digestive
system. The improved accuracy
is especially important if you
have had upper-digestive-tract
surgery in the past.
Abnormalities that can be treated
through the endoscope include:
- Polyps (usually benign growths)
can be identified and removed.
- Tissue samples (biopsies)
can be taken for analysis.
- Bleeding from the upper digestive
system can be treated.
Procedures such as stretching
narrowed areas or removing
be performed with the endoscope.
An endoscopy requires that you
have an empty stomach before
the procedure. Do not eat any
solid food for 8 hours before
the procedure. You may drink
clear liquids up until 2 hours
before the procedure. Clear liquids
include clear broth, hard candy,
plain jello, black coffee, black
tea, apple juice, ginger ale,
7 UP, colas, Kool-Aid, Gatorade,
Hi-C and popsicles.
During the procedure, with the
patient lying on his/her left
side, the physician places a
mouthpiece in the patient’s mouth.
The physician then inserts an
endoscope into the mouth, through
the esophagus and into the stomach.
The mouthpiece and endoscope
do not interfere with breathing.
The procedure last from 15-20
Mild sedation is typically provided
to relieve anxiety and discomfort,
and a local anesthetic (pain
relieving medication) may be
applied to the back of your throat.
For this reason, you will need
to bring a responsible adult
with you to accompany you home
after the procedure. You should
not drive or operate machinery
for at least 8 hours after the
procedure. The sedation given
during the procedure causes drowsiness,
dizziness and impairs your judgment,
making it unsafe for you to drive
or operate machinery.
Following the procedure, you
may experience temporary soreness
in your throat. This can usually
be relieved with throat lozenges