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An upper GI endoscopy is a test that allows the doctor to see inside the throat, esophagus, and stomach. The upper part of the small intestines may also be examined. It is done with a flexible tube called an endoscope.
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This procedure is done to help diagnose the causes of:
An upper GI endoscopy may also be done to look for:
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
The care team may meet with you to talk about:
The doctor will give:
The endoscope will be put into the mouth. It will be passed through the esophagus and stomach until it reaches the small intestine. Images will be seen on a nearby monitor. Air may be passed through the scope. This helps the doctor view the area.
If needed, tiny tools may be passed through the endoscope. They can be used to take a sample of tissue for testing or do other procedures.
About 10 to 15 minutes
Throat pain and bloating are common in the first few days. Medicine and home care can help.
Most people can go home the same day. If other procedures were done during the upper GI endoscopy, you may need to stay longer.
The staff may give you something to eat and drink.
It will take a few hours to recover. Most can resume their diet.
Call your doctor if you have:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Gastroenterological Association
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation
Understanding upper endoscopy. American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy website. Available at: https://www.asge.org/list-pages/patient-informations/understanding-upper-endoscopy. Accessed February 12, 2021.
Upper endoscopy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/procedure/upper-endoscopy. Accessed Februry 12, 2021.
Upper GI endoscopy. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diagnostic-tests/upper-gi-endoscopy. Accessed February 12, 2021.
Volkan B, Bayrak NA, et al. Preparatory information reduces gastroscopy-related stress in children as confirmed by salivary cortisol. Saudi J Gastroenterol. 2019;25(4):262-267.
Last reviewed January 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Chelsea Skucek, MSN, BS, RNC-NIC