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  • The Miriam Hospital Upper GI Endoscopy Patient Guide

  • For our patients
    This section provides answers to the questions most commonly asked by our patients and will help familiarize you with what will happen before, during and after your procedure.

    An upper GI endoscopy, or esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), is a procedure that enables a physician to examine a patient's esophagus, stomach and duodenum (part of the small intestine) with a thin, flexible, lighted tube. This procedure may be performed to evaluate the reason for swallowing difficulties, nausea, vomiting, reflux, bleeding, indigestion, and persistent abdominal pain, or to detect inflammation, ulcers and cancer in this part of the gastrointestinal tract.

    How to Prepare for Your Upper GI Exam

    Your physician's office will give you instructions to prepare for your procedure. Your stomach should be completely empty for the procedure. Patients are commonly asked not to eat or drink after midnight the night before their procedure. If you have questions regarding your instructions, please contact your physician's office.

    Prior to your procedure, please let your physician know if you are taking insulin or a blood thinner such as Coumadin, aspirin or an aspirin-like product. Please let your doctor know if you require antibiotics prior to dental examinations since you may need antibiotics prior to your upper GI endoscopy.

    On the day of your procedure, please bring a list of the prescribed and over-the-counter medications you are currently taking.

    On the Day of the Exam

    On the day of your procedure, please bring a list of the prescribed and over-the-counter medications you are currently taking.

    The time you will be instructed to arrive at The Miriam Hospital will be one to one-and-a-half hours prior to the time of your exam. This is to allow time for registration and for the preparations necessary for your exam. When you arrive at The Miriam, please report to the admitting office located in the hospital's main lobby. From there, you will be instructed to go to the registration desk where you will check-in. You will then be escorted to the pre-endoscopy unit. A nurse will greet you and prepare you for your procedure. You must arrange for someone to drive you home.

    What to expect during the exam

    Before your exam begins, you will be given pain medication and a mild sedative to keep you comfortable and relaxed. The physician may spray your throat with numbing medicine. You will lay on your left side and a small mouthpiece will be placed between your teeth. Your doctor will help you swallow the thin flexible endoscope. You will be able to breathe normally. The endoscope introduces air into the stomach, which expands the folds so the physician can see more clearly. The doctor will then examine your esophagus, stomach and duodenum.

    An upper GI endoscopy usually takes 15 to 30 minutes, but plan to be at The Miriam Hospital for 3 to 4 hours to allow time for preparation and recovery. Family members may wait in the waiting area or they may leave their phone number and the recovery nurse will call them when you are ready to be discharged from the hospital.

    After the Upper GI Procedure

    After your procedure, you will be taken to a recovery area. Many people do not recall the procedure because of the effect of the medication. You will probably feel drowsy and you may sleep for a short time. Your throat may be sore for awhile, and you may still feel bloated after your exam. Unless instructed otherwise, you will be able to resume eating your regular diet after you leave the hospital

    Due to the sedative you are given prior to the exam, you might not remember speaking with your physician after the exam. Once you are ready to be discharged from the hospital, the recovery nurse will give you written instructions to follow. You must arrange for someone to drive you home.

    The day after your procedure, a nurse will call you to make sure you did not experience problems after your exam. If your procedure is performed on a Friday, you will receive a phone call the following Monday.

    For more information please call the physician who will be performing your colonoscopy. Find your physician's office number >