Be Prepared:​

Please plan to be at the center for approximately three hours.

  • Please bring your glasses, your CPAP if you use one, medication list and your driver’s license (or other form of ID), insurance card and co-pay.
  • Please leave all valuables at home and wear something loose and comfortable.
  • You will not be able to drive on the day of your procedure and must have a ride home. Please let your doctor know if this is a problem.
  • Please follow the prep prescribed by your doctor. It is critical that you do not drink anything for at least four hours before your exam.

Upon Arrival:

  • Please note, any female patients under the age of 55, who have not had a hysterectomy or post menopausal (absent menses for 12 months), will be asked to provide a urine sample on the day of the procedure to rule out pregnancy. Please contact your physician’s office directly if you have any specific questions or concerns.
  • You will be asked to review and sign our Privacy Policy.
  • We will verify your medical history, and you will speak with our anesthesiologist.
  • You will be asked if you have a ride home as you can not drive on the day of your procedure.
  • A family member may sit with you until you go in for your exam.


What is a Gastrocopy (Upper GI Endoscopy/EGD)?

A Gastroscopy (Upper Endoscopy/EGD) is a procedure where a flexible tube that is thinner than most food you swallow is passed through your mouth into your upper digestive tract. The gastroscope has a light and a video camera on one end and the image is displayed on an external high definition video monitor. A gastroscope allows your GI doctor to examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first portion of your small intestine).

Why is an Upper Endoscopy (Gastroscopy/EGD) performed?

A Gastroscopy (Upper Endoscopy/EGD) may be performed for a variety of reasons. A Gastroscopy (Upper Endoscopy/EGD)  is commonly used to evaluate GI symptoms such as:

  • Chronic or recurring heartburn
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Abdominal discomfort/pain Trouble swallowing
  • Gas/bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Black stools/anemia
  • Unexplained weight loss

A Gastroscopy (Upper Endoscopy/EGD) may also be performed for:

  • Suspected cancer of the esophagus or stomach
  • Detection and management of Barrett’s esophagus
  • Dilatation (stretching) of esophageal strictures
  • Diagnosis of Celiac disease
  • Diagnosis and management of peptic ulcer disease
  • Evaluation and treatment of gastrointestinal bleeding

What happens before your a Gastroscopy (Upper Endoscopy/EGD)?

An empty stomach allows for the best and safest examination, so you will be instructed to have no solid food after midnight the evening before your exam, until your procedure is done. If your procedure is scheduled in the afternoon, you may have sips of clear liquid up until 6 hours prior to your exam. This includes black coffee (no cream or sugar). You will be given written Gastroscopy (Upper Endoscopy/EGD) instructions prior to your procedure date. If you did not receive these instructions, call Digestive Disease Medicine at 315-624-7000.

You must continue to take your prescribed medicine for blood pressure, heart, and respiratory problems (including inhalers) as you usually do. For instance, if you take the prescribed medication in the morning, take it the day of your procedure with a sip of water at least four hours prior to admission.

However, do not take any diabetic medication the evening prior and the morning of the procedure.

You will receive special instructions concerning medications that affect bleeding (Coumadin, Pradaxa, Plavix, Xarelto, Eliquis). You do not need to stop taking your Aspirin 81mg before your exam. If you are taking Aspirin 325mg, usually you will be instructed to lower the dose to 81mg one week prior to your exam.

You must discontinue the use of Phentermine (Adipex-P ,Suprexa or other diet medications) for two weeks prior to your procedure.
Bring a copy of any advanced directives (ex. Health care proxy, living will, DNR) with you.

You do not need to bring your Cpap machine with you.

Do not use marijuana after midnight on the evening prior to your exam until your procedure is done.

Do not use cocaine for 2 weeks prior to your exam.

What happens during admission?

After you sign in at the registration desk, you will be called from the waiting room for an interview with a nurse. The nurse will ask you questions concerning your medical history, allergies, medications, and NPO status among other questions. You will also sign a consent for your procedure which gives your doctor permission to do your procedure. Discharge instructions will also be reviewed with you at this time.

After your interview, you will be taken to the admitting area where you get changed for your procedure. Baseline vital signs will be taken. An intravenous catheter will be inserted into your arm/hand by a nurse for administration of IV fluids/medications.

An Anesthesiologist and a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) will be continuously present for your care while you are a patient at the Endoscopy Center. Before your procedure, the anesthesiologist will perform a brief physical assessment. You will be asked about underlying medical conditions, your medical history, and the medications you are taking. It is important to inform your anesthesiologist if you have a history of allergic reactions to specific medications. All of this information will assist your anesthesiologist in planning and administering the safest anesthetic possible.

Anesthesia at MVEC is provided by anesthesiologists, Dr Michelle Johnston and Dr Mark Sumner and by the nurse anesthetist group, Tricore Anesthesia.

What happens during a  Gastroscopy (Upper Endoscopy/EGD)?

After arrival in the procedure room, monitors will be attached to your body to allow your health care team to continually monitor your breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate. You will be asked to turn on your left side. A nasal cannula will be placed for administering oxygen while you are sedated.

Any removable dental work (dentures/partials) will need to be removed before you receive sedation. Inform your nurse and/or anesthetist if you have any chipped, loose, missing or broken teeth. Your doctor might start by spraying your throat with a local anesthetic.
Just prior to sedation, a small mouth guard will be placed between your teeth. The mouth guard will protect your teeth and keep you from biting down on the gastroscope.

The CRNA (nurse anesthetist) will administer your sedation through your IV line and monitor you throughout your procedure.
Once you are asleep, your GI doctor will then pass the gastroscope into your mouth and guide the scope down your esophagus, through your stomach, and into your duodenum (the first portion of your small intestine).

During a gastroscopy (Upper Endoscopy/EGD), certain procedures such as taking small tissue samples (biopsies), removing gastric polyps, or dilating (stretching) a stricture may be performed. Biopsies are taken for many reasons and do not necessarily imply cancer. Other instruments can also be passed through the gastroscope such as a small brush to wipe cells from a suspicious area for laboratory analysis. Gastroscopies usually last approximately 5-15 minutes.

What happens after a Gastroscopy (Upper Endoscopy/EGD) ?

After the procedure, you will be taken to the recovery room. The recovery period is usually 30 minutes before you can be discharged home. Before you are discharged, your GI doctor will explain your results to you.
You will be able to resume your usual diet/medications unless instructed otherwise.

A responsible adult must drive/accompany you home. You may feel alert after your procedure, but your judgement and reflexes may be impaired for the remainder of the day, making it unsafe to drive or operate machinery. You should also plan not to work, schedule meetings/ appointments, and make legal decisions on the day of your procedure.

What are the possible complications of a A Gastroscopy (Upper Endoscopy/EGD)?

Gastroscopies are generally safe when performed by gastrointestinal physicians who have been trained and are experienced in endoscopy procedures. Complications can occur but are rare.
Your GI doctor will inform you of potential complications prior to your exam.
Although complications after a gastroscopy are uncommon, it is important for you to recognize early signs of any possible complications. Contact your doctor if you notice any of the following: severe abdominal or chest pain, fever, chills, and severe nausea/vomiting.