Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
How It Is Done
A gastrointestinal endoscopy may be
done in a doctor's office, a 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.
Once the endoscope is in your
esophagus, your head will be tilted upright. This makes it easier for the scope
to slide down your esophagus. During the procedure, try not to swallow unless
requested to. An assistant may remove the saliva from your mouth with a suction
device, or you can allow the saliva to drain from the side of your mouth.
Your doctor will slowly move the endoscope while looking
through an eyepiece or watching on a video monitor to examine the walls of your
esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. Air or water may be injected through the
scope to help clear a path for the scope or to clear its lens, and suction may
be applied to remove air or secretions.