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Preparing for Your Upper Endoscopy Procedure

An upper endoscopy procedure is also called esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD. This is a common procedure to check for problems associated with heartburn, swallowing, and unexplained abdominal pain. There may be other symptoms that require this type of examination.

Depending on your symptoms, your doctor will directly examine your esophagus (or swallowing tube), your stomach, and the portion of the stomach that enters the small intestine. The physician may obtain tiny specimens for laboratory analysis during your examination.

These examinations are performed with sedation while you are relaxed and sleepy. You will need a responsible person to drive you home after your procedure.

Before your upper endoscopy procedure

Your stomach needs to be empty for the physician to see the lining of your gastrointestinal tract and to prevent complications. It is important that you follow these directions:

  • Stop taking aspirin and aspirin-like products such as ibuprofen(Advil® and Motrin®), naprosyn (Aleve®), and vitamin E five (5) days before your examination. Stop taking all over the counter pain medications five days before your procedure. You may take acetominophen (Tylenol®) as directed on the label.
  • If you take blood thinning medications, you will need specific instructions about stopping those from the physician’s office.
  • Eat a LIGHT supper before 7:00 pm the night before your examination. Do not eat any solid food after midnight the night before your procedure.
  • You may have CLEAR LIQUIDS ONLY up to four hours before your scheduled appointment. You must not eat any solid food the day of your procedure. Clear liquids include black coffee or tea, water, juice that you can see through (no pulp), or popsicles that do not contain red dye. You may not use milk or dairy products. Please see the clear liquid diet instructions for a full list.
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