Patient Information

  Gastroscopy (Upper Endoscopy)
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
Colonoscopy (Lower Endoscopy)
Liver Biopsy

Gastroscopy (Upper Endoscopy)

Upper G.I. endoscopy is a direct examination of your food pipe, stomach, and a portion of the small bowel.  A gastroscope is a small, flexible instrument, about the diameter of a pencil, with a light and a lens at the end which allows your doctor to see your upper digestive tract.  Before the procedure, you will be given a mild sedative.  Oral topical (spray) medication will also be given to numb your mouth and throat.  A small plastic mouthpiece with a hole in the center will be placed in your mouth between your teeth to protect the gastroscope.  The tube-like instrument is then passed through the hole in the mouthpiece, into your mouth and food pipe (esophagus) and into the stomach and small bowel (duodenum) so that inspection can be carried out.  During the procedure you will be lying on your left side.  You will be asked to swallow as the tube is being inserted.   Since the tube is inserted into your food pipe (esophagus) and not into your wind pipe (trachea, a separate pipe), it will not interfere with your breathing in any way.   A sensation of bloating may occur when air is pumped into the stomach for better visualization.  Various samples, including biopsies and brushings, can be taken from abnormal areas such as ulcers or tumors.  This sampling is not painful.  Certain treatments may also be given through the scope as in the case of gastrointestinal bleeding.  If you experience any discomfort during the procedure, additional sedation or pain medication may be given.  The procedure usually  takes 5-15 minutes.  During the procedure your blood pressure, pulse and breathing will be monitored.

Special Instructions:
1.  DO NOT eat or drink after midnight before the procedure.  Your stomach should be empty during the test.
2.  Arrive at the hospital one-half to one hour prior to your scheduled procedure time.  Bring your insurance cards and information.
3.  A responsible person must come with you who can stay during the procedure and drive you home.

What to Expect:
Before your procedure you will be interviewed by a Registered Nurse.  She will ask some questions about your symptoms, health history and take your blood pressure, pulse and temperature.  If you do not know them by name, please bring a list of your allergies and current medications.  The nurse will also insert a small needle into a vein in your arm if your are receiving sedation.  After your procedure you will be sleepy.  Your blood pressure and pulse will be monitored frequently.   You will stay in the recovery area until you are alert and oriented and your vital signs are stable, usually about one hour after your sedation was given.  You will not be able to eat or drink anything for one hour after your procedure.  You may  be drowsy for a few hours after you go home.  Your doctor will talk to you or the person who came with you before you go home.  If biopsies were taken, it will take 3-4 days to get the report.  You will receive written discharge instructions and appropriate teaching materials before you leave.  You will not be able to drive for the rest of the day and should not plan on working the day of your test.