What is an upper GI endoscopy?
An upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy is a procedure to look at the inside of your oesophagus (gullet), stomach and duodenum using a flexible telescope.
What are the benefits of an upper GI endoscopy?
If the endoscopist (the person doing the endoscopy) finds a problem, they can perform biopsies (removing small pieces of tissue) to help make the diagnosis.
Are there any alternatives to an upper GI endoscopy?
A barium meal is an x-ray test of your upper digestive system.
A urea breath test can be used to detect a germ (helicobacter pylori) that can cause stomach ulcers.
What does the procedure involve?
An upper GI endoscopy usually takes about 10 minutes.
The endoscopist may offer you a sedative to help you to relax.
The endoscopist will place a flexible telescope (endoscope) into the back of your throat. From here the endoscope will pass into your duodenum.
The endoscopist will be able to look for problems such as inflammation or ulcers. They will be able to perform biopsies and take photographs to help make the diagnosis.
How soon will I recover?
If you were given a sedative, you will be transferred to the recovery area where you can rest. You will usually recover in about an hour but this depends on how much sedative you were given. You may feel a bit bloated for a few hours but this will pass.
You should be able to return to work the next day unless you are told otherwise.
The healthcare team will tell you what was found during the endoscopy and discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.
Regular exercise should improve your long-term health. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.
What complications can happen?
Some complications can be serious and can even cause death.
- Sore throat
- Allergic reaction
- Breathing difficulties or heart irregularities
- Heart attack or stroke can happen if you have serious medical problems
- Making a hole in your oesophagus, stomach or duodenum
- Damage to teeth or bridgework
- Incomplete procedure