How To Prepare
Before having an upper
gastrointestinal endoscopy, tell your doctor if you:
- Are allergic to any medicines, including
- Are taking any medicines.
- Have bleeding
problems or take blood-thinning medicine, such as warfarin (Coumadin).
- Have heart problems.
- Are or might be
diabetes and take insulin.
- Have had
surgery or radiation treatments to your esophagus, stomach, or the upper part
of your small intestine.
not eat or drink anything for 6 to 8 hours before the test. An empty stomach
helps your doctor see your stomach clearly during the test. It also reduces
your chances of vomiting. If you vomit, there is a small risk that your stomach
contents could enter your lungs (aspiration). If the test is done in an
emergency, a tube may be inserted through your nose or mouth to empty your
You may be asked to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of the test and agree to have it done.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for
the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To
help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
You may be asked to stop taking
aspirin products or iron supplements 7 to 14 days before the test. If you take
blood-thinning medicines regularly, discuss with your doctor how to manage your
Do not take sucralfate (Carafate) or antacids on the day of
the test. These medicines can interfere with your doctor's ability to view the
If biopsy samples are taken or polyps are
removed during the test, bleeding may also occur. This bleeding usually stops
on its own without treatment. To reduce this risk, avoid aspirin and
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for
several days before the endoscopy. If you take blood-thinning medicine, you may
be instructed to stop the medicine temporarily before the test.
Before the test, you will put on a hospital gown. If you
are wearing dentures, jewelry, contact lenses, or glasses, remove them. For
your own comfort, empty your bladder before the test begins.
Arrange to have someone take you home after the test because you will be
given a sedative before the test.