Preparing for Your Upper Endoscopy

Preparing for Your Upper Endoscopy


Also called an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, EGD, or gastroscopy, an upper endoscopy uses a thin scope with a light and camera called an endoscope at its tip to look inside the upper digestive system of the esophagus, stomach, and beginning of the small intestine. The endoscope is passed through the mouth and down the throat to the esophagus. The duration of the procedure is about 5 -10 minutes. Biopsies may also be taken and sent for analysis to rule out any tissue abnormality.

A bite block will be inserted to protect your teeth and the endoscope. You will lie on your left side, and after the sedative has taken effect, the endoscope will be gently guided through the esophagus to the stomach and finally to the beginning of the small intestine. Air will be introduced through the endoscope to enhance viewing. The lining of the esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine is examined, and biopsies can be performed simultaneously.

Upper Endoscopy Preparation

The day of your upper endoscopy (starting at midnight):

  • Do not consume broth or solid food from midnight the day of your procedure, or your procedure will be canceled
  • You may drink clear liquids only up until four hours before your procedure time. This includes water, black coffee and black tea (sugar is ok to add), Gatorade, Powerade, or Vitamin water. Carbonated soft drinks, apple juice, white grape juice, and white cranberry juice are all allowed. Jell-O and popsicles are also allowed.
  • Avoid all solid foods, milk, and milk products after midnight including gum or hard candy.

Three hours before your procedure time, you may take only these medications with a small sip of water:

  • Daily narcotic
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Blood pressure/cardiac medication
  • Seizure medication
  • Asthma inhalers

You will receive intravenous sedation and be monitored during this procedure. The medications used during the procedure, although short-acting, have subtle, prolonged effects on your reaction/judgment time, thought processes, and wakefulness. You must, therefore, adhere to the following guidelines:

  • You must not drive the remainder of the day following your procedure. It is required that a responsible adult be present at the time of discharge to drive you home.
  • Please wear glasses; do not wear contacts.
  • Leave all jewelry at home, including body piercings.
  • It is okay to brush your teeth and wear dentures with no glue.
  • Please bring a complete list of medications you are currently taking with you to the facility.
  • Please allow for at least 2 hours at the facility.
  • Do not use taxis or public transportation unless accompanied by a responsible adult.
  • You may NOT walk home.
  • If you have small children, arrangements should be made for their care until the next day.
  • Do NOT make any important decisions for the entire day of your procedure.
  • Please have a responsible adult to stay with you overnight. You should not be left unattended. If you have not made such arrangements, your case will be canceled.
  • We fully expect you will be able to return to your normal activities the day after your procedure, i.e., return to work and drive.
  • You will receive a call from one of our nurses a few days before your procedure to review your health history and answer any questions you may have. This will also help streamline the admission process on the day of your procedure.
  • If you develop a fever, rash, cough, or flu-like symptoms in the days before your procedure, please notify our office immediately.

Contact Us

For more information regarding preparation for your Endoscopy, please call Elliot Gastroenterology at 603-314-6900 with any questions or concerns.