What is an endoscopy?
Endoscopy involves swallowing a thin, flexible tube to examine the upper gastrointestinal tract: the oesophagus (gullet), stomach and duodenum.
Preparation for endoscopy
If you have a morning appointment: Nothing to eat or drink after 12 midnight.
If you have an afternoon appointment: Nothing to eat or drink for 5 hours before your appointment.
Take your blood pressure tablets or heart tablets with only a sip of water on the day of the procedure. If you are a diabetic, please bring your morning dose of insulin or tablets with you.
How is endoscopy performed?
An intravenous sedative is given to make you drowsy. Once the sedative has taken effect, the endoscope is inserted through the mouth and into the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum. The endoscope is a thin, flexible tube about 9mm in diameter. The whole examination takes about 10-15 minutes.
You will be taken to the recovery area to rest until the effects of the sedative have disappeared. This will generally take 30-60 minutes. Then you can eat and drink normally although you might have a slightly sore throat. When you are fully awake you will be informed of the results of the test.
Please be prepared to stay at the hospital for approximately 4 hours.
Because of the sedatives you will be given, you must not drive a car, sign important legal documents, or work with dangerous machinery for 24 hours after the procedure.
Please make arrangements for a responsible adult to accompany you when you leave hospital and stay with you overnight.
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