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What to Expect during an Upper Endoscopy

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Upper endoscopy, also known as esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), is a medical procedure that allows doctors to examine the upper digestive tract. This includes the esophagus, stomach, and the beginning of the small intestine. 

Before the Procedure

Before your upper endoscopy, your doctor will provide you with instructions on how to prepare. This may include fasting for a certain amount of time or stopping certain medications. It is important to follow these instructions carefully to ensure an accurate and successful procedure. You may also be asked to sign a consent form, which is a standard procedure for any medical intervention. This is to ensure that you have understood the risks and benefits of the procedure and have given your informed consent.

During the Procedure

An upper endoscopy is usually performed in an outpatient setting, meaning you will not need to stay overnight in the hospital. You will be given a mild sedative to help you relax, and a local anesthetic may be sprayed on the back of your throat to numb it. The doctor will then insert a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera at the end through your mouth and into your upper digestive tract. This will allow them to see the lining of your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. The images from the camera will be displayed on a monitor, allowing the doctor to closely examine and potentially take small tissue samples for further testing. The procedure doesn't take long. You may feel some pressure or discomfort during the procedure, but it should not be painful. If you experience any pain, inform your doctor immediately.

After the Procedure

After the upper endoscopy, you will be monitored for a short period of time until the sedative wears off. You may experience some bloating or gas due to air that was pumped into your digestive tract during the procedure. You will likely be advised to rest and avoid eating or drinking for a couple of hours after the procedure. It is also important to have someone else drive you home, as the sedative may affect your ability to do so. Your doctor will discuss the results of the procedure with you and any necessary follow-up care. It is important to follow all post-procedure instructions carefully to ensure a smooth recovery.

Having an upper endoscopy can sound a bit daunting at first, but knowing what to expect can help ease those nerves. Remember, this procedure is a common and valuable tool for doctors to get a closer look at your upper digestive tract and diagnose any issues accurately.

Learn more from a medical facility near you like UBMD Physicians’ Group.