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Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

How It Feels continued...

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

You will feel groggy after the test until the medicine wears off, usually in 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 also have a tickling, dry throat or mouth; slight hoarseness; or a mild sore throat. These symptoms may last several days. Throat lozenges and warm saltwater gargles can help relieve the throat symptoms. Do not drink alcohol after the test.


Complications from gastrointestinal endoscopy are rare. There is a slight risk of puncturing your throat (esophagus), stomach, or upper small intestine (duodenum). If this happens, you may need to have surgery to fix it. There is also a slight chance of infection after an endoscopy.

Bleeding may also occur from the test or if a tissue sample (biopsy) is taken, but this usually stops on its own without treatment. If you vomit during the examination and some of the material you vomit enters your lungs, aspiration pneumonia is a possible risk. If it develops, it can be treated with antibiotics.

An irregular heartbeat may occur during the test but nearly always subsides on its own without treatment.

The procedure has more risk for people with serious heart disease, older adults, and those who are frail or physically weakened. Although complications are rare, you should discuss your specific risks with your doctor.

After the test

After the test, call911or other emergency services immediately if you develop:

After the test, call your doctor immediately if you:

  • Feel short of breath or dizzy.
  • Have symptoms of infection, such as fever or chills.
  • Vomit blood, whether it is fresh and red or is old and looks like coffee grounds.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 07, 2012
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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