People all over the medical world have come up with innovative ways to treat serious illnesses. An upper endoscopy is a medical procedure used by healthcare professionals to examine the inner lining of the upper digestive tract. This mainly includes the esophagus, duodenum, and stomach. The endoscopy procedure is also known as esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD.
The procedure is done with the help of an endoscope, which is a thin, flexible tube with a video camera and a light on the end. The endoscope is inserted through the mouth, down the throat, and finally into the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine.
You are supposed to drink or eat anything for at least eight hours before going through an upper and lower endoscopy. The doctor may recommend you start your fast at midnight irrespective of the time the endoscopy is scheduled to take place.
Moreover, your doctor will also provide you with detailed instructions regarding what you should and should eat the day or two before your endoscopy. For instance, your doctor may ask you to have only clear liquids for 24 to 48 hours. During this entire period, you must follow all the instructions carefully to ensure the doctor will get a clear view of your digestive tract and that the whole endoscopy procedure goes well.
In addition to that, make sure to provide your doctor with a complete list of all the vitamins, supplements, or any other vitamins that you take. This way, your doctor would be able to provide you with proper instructions about if you should stop taking the medications temporarily to prevent complications during the procedure such as bleeding. The doctor will also ask you to stop taking blood-thinning medicines like aspirin.
Importantly, since a sedative will be used to help you stay comfortable during the procedure, you will have to arrange a ride to get back home after the upper endoscopy. You may require someone’s help to get home safely since you will be feeling dizzy or sleepy because of the sedative.
Before the upper gastrointestinal endoscopy starts, the doctor will insert an IV in your arm for administering anesthesia. In addition to that, a plastic mouth guard or bite block will also be placed in your mouth for protecting your mouth, teeth, and endoscope.
Notably, the doctor will position you to your left side. Once the anesthesia has started working, the doctor will place the endoscope into your mouth. Then, the endoscope is inserted slowly down the throat to being examining the digestive tract. Since you will be under general anesthesia or deep or moderate sedation, you would not feel anything. Once it is done, you probably wouldn’t even remember what happened during the procedure.
During the recovery process, you might experience a sore throat with the insertion of the endoscope. After the endoscopy procedure, you may also feel bloated and feel nauseous. Doctors usually use carbon dioxide air to have a better view of the intestine, which causes bloating.
The next few days after the procedure will require rest to ensure that you heal naturally. Physical activities should be suspended until then.