How do you prepare for an upper endoscopy?


Quick Answer

To prepare for an upper endoscopy, patients should avoid eating and drinking for four to eight hours prior to the procedure, according to Mayo Clinic. Blood-thinning medications should not be taken in the days before the endoscopy, and the doctor should be informed of all medications and supplements the patient is taking.

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Full Answer

In an upper endoscopy, the upper digestive is examined by inserting a small camera down the esophagus, explains Mayo Clinic. Gastroenterologists, who are specialists in diseases affecting the digestive system, use the procedure to diagnose or treat conditions that involve the esophagus, the stomach and the first part of the small intestine called the duodenum.

Doctors suggest fasting hours before an endoscopy so the patient has an empty stomach during the procedure, says Mayo Clinic. Doctors also prohibit blood-thinning medications, as these can lead to bleeding. Anyone who has a severe condition, such as diabetes or heart disease, should ask her doctor if taking medications is allowed on the day of the procedure.

Patients who undergo an upper endoscopy are usually given a sedative for easier relaxation during the procedure; thus, it is important to plan for recovery time, notes Mayo Clinic. Arranging for a ride home is necessary, as sedatives may affect judgment and reaction times. It is also important for patients to avoid working and making critical decisions for 24 hours following the procedure.

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