Upper GI Endoscopy

Upper GI endoscopy means using a flexible scope to look at the esophagus, stomach, and upper small bowel. This is done to make a diagnosis in people with heartburn, abdominal pain, or abnormal bleeding. Sometimes an endoscope is needed to remove foreign bodies or food that become stuck in the esophagus; it can also be used to take biopsy samples. For the best results, do not eat or drink for 8 hours before having your upper endoscopy.

To perform the endoscopy, you will probably be sedated and your throat will be numbed with a special spray. The endoscope is then slowly passed down your throat (this will not interfere with your breathing). An endoscopy exam takes 15 to 30 minutes to complete and there is no real pain. Patients rarely remember much about the procedure. The results of the test may take several days if a biopsy or other test is taken.

You may have a sore throat after an endoscopy exam. Serious complications are very rare. Stick to liquids and soft foods until your pain is better. Do not drive a car or operate any dangerous equipment for at least 24 hours after being sedated.


  • You have severe throat pain.

  • You have shortness of breath.

  • You have bleeding problems.

  • You have a fever.

  • You have difficulty recovering from your sedation.