A routine upper gastrointestinal endoscopy usually takes between 20 or 30 minutes, according to Cancer.Net. The patient receives medicine to ease discomfort that may result from the procedure, and she can normally resume her daily activities within 24 hours.
At the beginning of the procedure, an anesthetic sprayed on the throat prevents the gag reflex, states Cancer.Net. A sedative may also be given to help the patient relax. As the doctor inserts the scope down the throat, the patient may feel pressure on the esophagus. This is because the endoscope is inflating the stomach to give the doctor a better view. After the doctor is done, the patient usually remains at the hospital for a few hours until the anesthetic wears off, at which point the patient receives specific instructions and goes home.