The term “endoscopy” refers to a special technique for looking inside a part of the body. “Upper GI” is the portion of the gastro-intestinal tract, the digestive system, that includes the esophagus( Food Pipe), the stomach, and the duodenum ( the beginning of the small intestine).
Upper GI endoscopy is a procedure performed by a gastroenterologist, a well-trained specialist who uses the endoscope to diagnose and, in some cases, treat problems of the upper digestive system.
The endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and light on the end.
The doctor may start by spraying your throat with a local anaesthetic. Then you will be given sedation to help you relax.
Small pieces of tissue (skin inside your oesophagus, stomach, duodenum) may need to be removed for pathology tests.
The endoscope does not cause problems with breathing unless you have lung or heart problems.
Before the Procedure
Regardless of why upper GI endoscopy has been recommended for you, there are important steps you can take to prepare for and participate in the procedure.
In addition to changes to your medication, you'll also need to:
Tell the doctor if you have: a pacemaker, a joint replacement, heart, lung or other medical conditions that may need special attention .
Because you will receive a relaxing medication during your procedure, you must arrange to have a responsible adult pick you up and/or accompany you home if you taking public transportation. You may not operate an automobile or other mechanical equipment until the day following your procedure.
Preparation for the Procedure
You must not eat or drink anything for at least six hours before the procedure. Ideally you must not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure. Food in the stomach will block the view through the endoscope and it could cause vomiting. The exception is medication taken with small sips of water.
If you are scheduled for a morning procedure: You should have nothing by mouth (including gum and mints) after midnight. The exception is medication taken with small sips of water.
If you are scheduled for an afternoon procedure: You may continue drinking small quantities of clear liquids up to 6 hours prior to your scheduled arrival time.
CLEAR LIQUIDS: water, apple juice, ginger ale, sprite, beef or chicken broth WITHOUT noodles, coffee or tea WITHOUT cream or milk, most sodas, sherbet, pop-sicles, and Jell-O that is not red or orange. DO NOT DRINK ANYTHING RED OR ORANGE.
During the Procedure
During the procedure, everything will be done to help you be as comfortable as possible. Your blood pressure, pulse and blood oxygen level will be carefully monitored. Your gastroenterologist may give you a sedative to help make you relaxed and drowsy, but you will remain awake enough to cooperate.
You may also have your throat sprayed or be asked to gargle with a local anesthetic to help keep you comfortable as the endoscope is passed through. A supportive mouthpiece will be placed to help you keep your mouth open during the endoscopy. Once you are fully prepared, your gastroenterologist will gently maneuver the endoscope into position.
Your gastroenterologist will use the endoscope to look closely for any problems that may require evaluation, diagnosis or treatment.
In some cases, it may be necessary to take a sample of tissue, called a biopsy, for later examination under the microscope. This, too, is a painless procedure. In other cases, the endoscope can be used to treat a problem such as active bleeding from an ulcer.
Risks of this Procedure
There are some risks/ complications which include:
After the Procedure
When your endoscopy is completed you will be cared for in a recovery area until most of the effects of the medication have worn off.
Occasionally, minor problems may persist, such as mild sore throat, bloating or cramping; these should disappear in 24 hours or less.The air put into your stomach during the test causes this.
You can usually eat and drink normally afterwards unless you are told otherwise.
By the time you are ready to go home, you’ll feel more alert. Nevertheless, you should plan on resting for the remainder of the day.
For your safety you must:
Tell your doctor immediately if you:
Your doctor will explain the results of the examination to you or arrange for you to come back to hospital and talk to you about the results.