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Hudson County Gastroenterology

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Upper Endoscopy

Why is an Upper Endoscopy Procedure Conducted?

An upper endoscopy is used to discover the reason for swallowing difficulties, nausea, vomiting, reflux, bleeding, indigestion, abdominal pain, or chest pain.

How is an Upper Endoscopy Performed?

You will lie on your left side for the duration of your procedure. The lining of the stomach, esophagus, and upper duodenum is examined. Biopsies may be obtained through the endoscope if necessary. After the area has been viewed and biopsies taken, the endoscope is removed. Food and liquids are restricted until your gag reflex returns. The procedure lasts between 15 and 60 minutes.

How to Prepare?

To properly perform an upper endoscopy, your physician may make the following recommendations:

  • Eat or drink nothing for six to 12 hours before the test.
  • Your doctor may ask you to stop eating and drinking after midnight before your exam.
  • Adjustments to your medications may be required per your physician's recommendation.

Inform your doctor:

  • If you are on Coumadin, Plavix, or other blood thinners.
  • If you might be pregnant.

Stop taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Advil, Motrin, Naprosyn, etc.) five to seven days before your procedure.

If you have diabetes, please notify us at (201) 898-2258, so we can discuss your morning diabetes medications with you. Check your finger-stick glucose at home and tell results to the nurse when you reach the endoscopy suite.

You might be requested to arrive one hour before your scheduled time to be adequately prepared for the procedure. It is recommended that a family member or friend come to your procedure and then home as you will be given sedation and not allowed to drive.

How Does having an Upper Endoscopy Feel?

There is variability from patient to patient. Some will not feel the procedure at all. During the upper endoscopy, there may be a sensation of gas and the possible feeling of the scope in the abdomen. Occasionally, the endoscope may stimulate gagging in the back of the throat. The doctor and a nurse will observe you closely during the procedure to monitor your comfort level. A local anesthetic may be given and make swallowing awkward, but this quickly wears off after the procedure.

Procedure Table

After the Test

You are transferred to the recovery room until you are fully awake. Preliminary results may be given at that time. If biopsies were performed, it will take a few days to get the results. After this, you will dress in preparation for discharge. Written post-procedure instructions will be provided before you leave.


Due to sedation from the medication, the doctor may speak with your family or delay talking to you. This discussion may cover a follow-up visit. It may take a few days to a week before your physician receives biopsy results.