An upper endoscopy is a medical procedure to visually examine the esophagus, the stomach and part of the duodenum.
During the procedure, a physician uses an endoscope (a long, thin, flexible instrument about 1/2 inch in diameter) to examine the inside of the upper digestive system. The endoscope lets the doctor observe and take pictures of the lining of the upper digestive system.
The procedure is commonly used to help identify the causes of abdominal or chest pain, nausea and vomiting, heartburn, bleeding or swallowing disorders. Abnormalities can also be treated through the endoscope: polyps (usually benign growths) can be identified and removed, and tissue samples (biopsies) can be taken for analysis. Procedures such as stretching narrowed areas, removing swallowed objects or treating bleeding from the upper digestive system can also be performed as part of upper endoscopy. Endoscopy can also help identify inflammation, ulcers and tumors.
How should you prepare for an upper endoscopy?
After you schedule your appointment with us, you will be mailed complete instructions on how to prepare for your procedure.
Here’s a synopsis of the key things that you should do to prepare:
Call your insurance company and ask if the endoscopy test is covered for the reason given by your doctor.
Ask your insurance company if you need a referral for the upper endoscopy. If they say “yes,” then you MUST get a referral from your primary care physician.
Update your registration by calling 1-866-489-4056.
Make plans for someone to come with you to the hospital.
If you take Coumadin®, Plavix ®or other blood thinners, please talk to the doctor who prescribed it.
If you are diabetic, please talk to your doctor about how to take your medication in order to prevent low blood sugar.
What should you expect on the day of your upper endoscopy procedure?
After you check in, one of our nurses will meet with you to review your medical conditions and medications. An IV line will be placed in a vein in your arm. You will proceed to the procedure room, where your blood pressure, pulse and oxygen level will be carefully monitored. A sedative also will be administered through your IV. You will soon feel drowsy, and while some people fall asleep, others remain awake during the procedure.
The test itself usually takes less than an hour. After the test, you will rest until the effects of the medicine wear off.
You will not be able to drive following the procedure, so plan on having someone with you to take you home. Before leaving, our staff will speak with you about the preliminary results of your test and will let you know when you can go back to eating your regular diet.
To request an appointment or more information about the procedure, please contact us at (617) 732-7426.