Do you have ongoing nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain in the upper GI (gastrointestinal) region; gastric reflux, trouble swallowing, anemia or unexpected weight loss? If the answer is yes to any of these conditions, then you may need to undergo a gastroenterology procedure called an upper endoscopy, which is useful in finding the exact cause of your GI Tract problems.
If your primary doctor recommends you get an upper endoscopy, there is no need to fret. An endoscopy is a common and safe gastroenterological procedure, used to evaluate many different conditions such as acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or stomach ulcers, Barrett’s esophagus and many other conditions.
During the procedure, an endoscope is inserted into your mouth, down your esophagus and into your small intestine and stomach. An endoscope is a malleable, narrow tube with a camera and a light attached to the end, to perform an internal exam. This instrument transmits video images to a monitor, giving the gastroenterologist a clear view of an interior area. An upper endoscopy involves the upper GI tract, which is comprised of the esophagus, stomach and top section of the small intestine, known as the duodenum. Other names for this procedure include esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), and upper GI endoscopy.
An upper gastrointestinal (or GI) endoscopy is a test that allows your doctor to look at the inside of your esophagus, stomach, and the first part of your small intestine, called the duodenum. The esophagus is the tube that carries food to your stomach. The doctor uses the endoscope and gently moves it down your throat. The doctor looks at a monitor as they move the scope. A doctor may do this test, to look for ulcers, tumors, infection, or bleeding. It also can be used to look for signs of acid backing up into your esophagus. This is called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. The doctor can use the scope to take a sample of tissue for study (a biopsy). This way a more accurate diagnosis can be made, and treatment can be administered. One way to ensure your doctor is provided a clear, unaltered view of what’s happening inside you is to follow the following recommendations.
Here are some do’s and don’ts to follow to prep for your endoscopy:
One Week Before the Procedure
- DON’T consume any products with vitamin E or fish oil (Omega-3 fatty acids).
- DON’T take any anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, or Aleve.
- DO listen to all of your physician’s recommendations. You may need to stop taking blood thinners or aspirin.
The (Very long) Night Before the Procedure
- DON’T eat or drink anything after midnight.
- DO follow your doctor’s instructions for clearing out your system. It will be a very long night, but rest assured, a clear view is what you want, and the only way to ensure that is to follow your doctor’s instructions regarding clearing waste and debris from your insides.
Day of the Procedure
- DO bring someone who can drive you home and care for you after your endoscopy.
- DO plan on spending three hours at the facility.
- DON’T bring jewelry or valuables with you; you will be under an anesthetic and will be asked to lock up your valuables (keys, wallet) or ask your companion to watch them for you.
- DO wear comfortable clothing and warm socks.
- DON’T wear contacts.
- DO keep an eye out for any reactions of side effects.
- DO rest, at least until you can get your bearings back.
- DO take in foods and liquids slowly to rehydrate your system.
- DON’T walk or bike home.
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed above, have a family history of GI issues or are getting a routine check-up, Carlisle Digestive Disease Associates can help with your GI health. Call them at (717) 245-2228 today to schedule an appointment.