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Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

How It Is Done continued...

After the test, you will be observed for 1 to 2 hours until the medicines wear off. If your throat was numbed before the test, you should not eat or drink until your throat is no longer numb and your gag reflex has returned to normal.

When you are fully recovered, you can go home. You will not be able to drive or operate machinery for 12 hours after the test. Your doctor will tell you when you can go back to your usual diet and activities. Do not drink alcohol for 12 to 24 hours after the test.

How It Feels

You may notice a brief, sharp pain when the intravenous (IV) needle is placed in a vein in your arm. The local anesthetic sprayed into your throat usually tastes slightly bitter. It will make your tongue and throat feel numb and swollen. Some people report that they feel as if they can't breathe at times because of the tube in their throat. But this is a false sensation caused by the anesthetic. There is always plenty of breathing space around the tube in your mouth and throat. Remember to relax and take slow, deep breaths.

During the test, you may feel very drowsy and relaxed from the sedative and pain medicines. You may have some gagging, nausea, bloating, or mild cramping in your belly as the tube is moved. If you have pain, alert your doctor with an agreed-upon signal or a tap on the arm. Even though you won't be able to talk during the procedure, you can still communicate.

The suction machine used to remove secretions may be noisy, but it does not cause pain. The removal of biopsy samples is also painless.

You will feel groggy after the test until the medicine wears off. This usually takes a few hours. Many people report that they remember very little of the test because of the sedative given before and during the test.

After the test, you may belch and feel bloated for a while. You may have a tickling, dry throat or mouth. You may feel a bit hoarse, and you may have a mild sore throat. These symptoms may last several days. Throat lozenges and warm saltwater gargles can help relieve the throat symptoms.

If your child is having this procedure, the same is also true. If your child has a sore throat and is age 4 or older, you can give him or her throat lozenges. Also, a child age 8 or older can gargle with warm salt water.

Do not drink alcohol after the test.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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