How To Prepare continued...
You will usually be asked to sign a consent form before the
test. 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 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.
How It Is Done
A gastrointestinal endoscopy may be
done in a doctor's office, clinic, or a hospital. An overnight stay in the
hospital usually is not needed. The test is most often performed by a doctor
who specializes in problems of the digestive system (gastroenterologist). The doctor may also have an
family medicine doctors,
surgeons are also trained to do endoscopy.
Before the procedure, blood tests may be done to check for a low blood
count or clotting problems. Your throat may be numbed with an anesthetic spray,
gargle, or lozenge to relax your gag reflex and make it easier to insert the
endoscope into your throat.
test, you may receive a pain medicine and a
sedative through an intravenous (IV) line in your arm
or hand. These medicines reduce pain and will make you feel relaxed and
drowsy during the test. You may not remember much about the actual test.
You will be asked to lie on your left side with your head bent
slightly forward. A mouth guard may be placed in your mouth to protect your
teeth from the endoscope. Then the lubricated tip of the endoscope will be
guided into your mouth and your doctor may gently press your tongue out of the
way. You may be asked to swallow to help move the tube along. It is helpful to
remember that the instrument is no thicker than many foods you swallow and will
not cause problems with breathing.