What Happens During My Upper Endoscopy?

When you arrive for your procedure, a nurse or other health professional will help you prepare for your procedure.

  • A health professional will review and explain the potential benefits, potential risks, and alternatives to an upper endoscopy, and ask for your informed consent to perform the procedure.

  • Before the procedure begins, you will need to change into a gown. You will then lie on your left side on the procedure table.

  • A small mouthpiece, called a bite block, will be inserted into your mouth immediately before the procedure begins. This mouthpiece is used to protect your teeth throughout the procedure. Be sure to inform your doctor if you have dentures, as you will need to remove them before the procedure begins.

  • You will most likely be given a sedating medication to make you comfortable for the procedure. This means an intravenous (IV) line will be placed into your arm before the procedure begins. You will likely be asleep when the procedure is performed.

  • During the procedure, the doctor will insert the narrow endoscope through the mouth, down the esophagus, and through the stomach and part of the small intestine, while looking carefully for any abnormal tissue. If abnormal tissue is seen, a small sample of tissue, called a biopsy, may be taken.

  • Biopsy samples are then sent to the pathology laboratory for testing.

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