Having an Upper GI Endoscopy
What is an upper GI endoscopy?
Whilst performing an upper GI endoscopy, the endoscopist is able to look closely at the lining of your oesophagus (gullet), your stomach and the first part of your small intestine (duodenum). The instrument used is called an endoscope which is a long flexible tube (about as thin as your little finger) with a bright light at the end. The endoscope is able to transmit clear pictures onto a television screen. If small samples of tissue (biopsies) need to be taken, tiny forceps are used to remove the sample and you will not feel anything.
Preparation for the test
You must not have anything to eat or drink for at least six hours before the test to ensure that the stomach is empty. If you are taking Warfarin or Clopidogrel you will need to contact either your own GP or Dr. Ransford to see if these need to be stopped prior to the procedure.
Although many people now chose not to have sedation, you will be given a choice of having either a local anaesthetic throat spray or a sedative injection for the test. If you chose to have the throat spray, the back of your throat will be sprayed with a local anaesthetic and the test will begin once your throat is numb. If you chose to have the sedation, the sedative will be given through a small plastic cannula inserted into the back of your hand. The procedure usually takes about 15minutes, and following the examination you will be allowed to recover from the sedative.
You will be told the findings of the examination straight away. If you have had sedation you may not recall all that you have been told and you will receive written confirmation of the findings.
If you have had sedation it is very important that you have someone to accompany you home and stay with you for the remainder of the day.
Following sedation you should not:
- Drive for 24 hours
- Operate any machinery including cookers, kettles etc
- Sign any legal documents or make any important decisions
- Drink any alcohol
Depending on the nature of your job, you should be able to return to work the next day.
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