Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is a medical procedure to diagnose and treat upper digestive system conditions, including the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. It involves inserting a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end (endoscope) through the mouth and into the digestive tract.
What to expect during an Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
An Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, also known as an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), is a diagnostic procedure that allows a doctor to examine the lining of the upper part of your gastrointestinal tract. This includes the esophagus, stomach, and the first section of the small intestine, the duodenum.
This procedure is performed using a flexible, thin tube called an endoscope. On its tip, the endoscope contains a light and a camera that send images to a monitor, allowing the doctor to view these areas and identify any abnormalities.
Before the procedure, you will be given a sedative to help you relax. You might also have to fast from midnight the night before the procedure. You can expect to lie on your left side while your doctor guides the endoscope through your upper digestive tract during the procedure.
The process is typically quick, often completed within 15 to 20 minutes, and is generally painless, although you might experience some discomfort. After the procedure, you might feel groggy due to the sedative. It's essential to arrange a companion to drive you home since you cannot go for 24 hours after the procedure. Also, you might experience mild side effects such as bloating or cramping, but these usually dissipate quickly.
Preparing for an Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Proper preparation is essential to ensure the success of an Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Here are the steps you should follow:
- Fasting: Having an empty stomach for the procedure is critical to allow your doctor to view your upper GI tract. Therefore, you'll be asked to stop eating and drinking at least 8 hours before the procedure, typically from midnight the night before.
- Medications: Inform your doctor about any medications you take, including over-the-counter and dietary supplements. You might need to adjust the dosage or stop taking certain medications temporarily. This includes those that affect blood clotting, like aspirin and certain diabetes medications.
- Allergies: If you have any allergies, especially to certain medications, you must notify your doctor to prevent adverse reactions during the procedure.
- Transportation: Due to the sedative used during the procedure, you cannot drive for at least 24 hours afterward. Please arrange for a friend or family member to take you home after the procedure.
Remember, every medical procedure has potential risks and benefits. Could you discuss these with your doctor to make an informed decision about undergoing an Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy?
Foods and Drinks to Avoid Before an Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
In preparation for an Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, it is crucial to empty the stomach to provide clear visibility for the endoscope. Therefore, you'll be asked to fast, i.e., stop eating and drinking, typically from midnight before the procedure. During this fasting period, you should avoid:
- Solid Foods: All types of solid foods should be avoided. This includes fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, dairy products, meats, and any other solid food items.
- Liquid Foods: This includes soups, milk, coffee, or any drinks with creamers or non-dairy additives. You should also avoid drinking any kind of alcoholic beverages.
- Colored Drinks: Avoid colored drinks, such as fruit juices or sodas. These can discolor the lining of your digestive tract, making it difficult for your doctor to examine it properly.
- Chewing Gum and Candy: These are considered as food since they stimulate the digestive system to produce acid.
Remember, you can usually still drink clear liquids up to two hours before the procedure unless instructed otherwise by your doctor. Clear liquids include water, clear fruit juices (like apple or white grape), black tea or coffee (without milk or cream), and clear broths. Always follow your doctor's instructions closely when preparing for this procedure.
The Importance of Following Post-Procedure Instructions
Following the Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, it is crucial to adhere to the post-procedure instructions provided by your healthcare provider. These directives ensure a smooth recovery, prevent potential complications, and maximize the procedure's benefits. Deviating from these instructions could lead to discomfort, aggravation of symptoms, or even severe health implications. For example, consuming certain foods too soon may irritate your digestive tract, while engaging in strenuous activity could result in stress or damage. So, following the precise timeline for resuming normal activities and dietary habits is essential, as your doctor advised.
Furthermore, ensure proper medication management by following instructions about what and when to take any prescribed medicine. Remember to contact your healthcare professional for any questions or concerns during your recovery. Adherence to these guidelines contributes significantly to a successful outcome after your Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before, During, and After the Procedure
Before, during, and after your Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, it's essential for you to maintain open communication with your healthcare provider to clear up any doubts or worries. Here are some crucial questions you might consider asking:
Before the Procedure
- Why do I need this procedure? Understanding the reason for the procedure can provide context and help you prepare mentally.
- How should I prepare for the procedure? This can include diet, medication adjustments, and lifestyle changes.
- What risks or complications should I be aware of? No medical procedure is without risks, so knowing what they could be is crucial.
- How will the procedure affect my current medications? Some medications might need to be paused or adjusted before the procedure.
During the Procedure
- What will I feel during the procedure? Knowing what to expect can help reduce anxiety.
- What are you looking for during the procedure? This helps you understand what the doctor examines inside your upper GI tract.
- Can you explain what I see on the monitor (if conscious)? If awake during the procedure, you might see images from the endoscope. I can tell you that knowing what you're looking at can be helpful.
After the Procedure
- What are the initial findings from the procedure? The doctor might be able to provide immediate insights.
- Are there any specific dietary restrictions I should follow post-procedure? Certain foods might need to be avoided for a period.
- When can I resume my regular medications? Some medications need to be reintroduced gradually.
- What symptoms should prompt me to call you? It's essential to know which signs might indicate complications.
- When will I get the official results? Knowing when to expect the results can help manage anxiety post-procedure.
Remember, every patient's situation is unique, and additional questions may be specific to your needs. Don't hesitate to inquire about anything that concerns you.
If you are in the Jackson, MS area and have concerns about obesity, take the first step and schedule an appointment with a GI Associate. We want to come alongside you for a journey like this.