Getting Ready for Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
What is an Upper Endoscopy?
After careful review of your medical condition, your doctor has decided that an upper
gastrointestinal endoscopy (EGD) is necessary for further evaluation and treatment. This
information will help you understand the process and how to prepare for your test.
An upper GI endoscopy is a test to look at your esophagus (food tube), stomach and the upper
part of the small intestine. This test involves passing a viewing tube through your mouth into the
stomach. It is used to find the cause of belly pain, heartburn, and trouble with swallowing or
bleeding. A GI endoscopy is more accurate than an X-ray at finding many problems in the upper
During the test the doctor can also take a small piece of tissue (a biopsy) for examination in the
laboratory if an area needs to be looked at more closely. Biopsies are taken for many reasons
and you will not be able to feel this part of the test.
Important – Read 1 week in advance.
Procedure may be cancelled if instructions are not followed
Blood thinning medications should never be stopped without discussing this with the provider
who prescribes the medication for you. The provider will give you instructions on how to safely
stop the blood thinning medication. Contact us if you have any questions.
1. 7 days before, you should stop taking the blood thinner Effient® (prasugrel).
2. 5 days before, you should stop taking:
Blood thinners, such as Coumadin® (warfarin) or Plavix® (clopidogrel).
3. 2 days before, you should stop taking the blood thinner Pradaxa® (dabigatran).
4. 24 hours before, you should stop taking the blood thinner Xeralto® (rivaroxaban)
5. Diabetic medicines (oral and insulin) will need to be adjusted for the time you’re not
eating as normal. Please discuss this with your primary doctor.
6. You must have an adult to drive you home or your test will be cancelled. You may take
a cab or bus home only if you have a responsible adult with you other than the driver.
7. Plan ahead. For your test, you will be given sedatives which can greatly affect your
judgment. On the day of your test, you will not be able to drive or return to work.
8. Our staff will review your health history, prior surgeries, allergies, and medicines taken.
Please bring this information with you.
9. If you use CPAP or BiPAP for sleep apnea, please bring it with you. We will need your
machine in order to sedate you safely.
10. If you have an implanted pacemaker or defibrillator, we will need specific information about
it before your procedure day. If you haven't already given us this information, please call us
during business hours (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday) at (608) 263-8097.
Ask to speak to the Procedure Coordinator.
Day of the Endoscopy
1. No solid food, milk, or dairy products until after your test.
2. You may drink clear liquids until 4 hours before you arrive (i.e., water, apple juice, soda,
Gatorade®). You must stop for sedation to be given safely. Avoid red liquids.
3. Do not take liquid antacids before your test.
4. Take your normal medicines with a small sip of clear liquid up to 1 hour before you arrive.
Do not take medicines mentioned under “Getting Ready.”
5. Follow the arrival and registration instructions in your cover letter. If you are delayed,
call us to let us know you are going to be late. If you are over 30 minutes late, we may have
to cancel and reschedule. We do our best to stay on time.
6. Plan to be with us about 2 hours. Your driver will need to be available in our waiting room
or by phone.
A nurse will review your health history and place an IV. The IV is used to give you medicines
which make you feel drowsy and relaxed during your test. While you are in a comfortable
position the scope will be placed into your mouth and the exam will begin. The scope will not
interfere with your breathing and there is usually little to no discomfort during the test. The test
will take 15 – 30 minutes. You will then go to our Recovery Room for about one hour. Your
driver may sit with you there. Once you are awake you will be given something to drink.
Your doctor will discuss the test results with you before you leave. You and the doctor who
referred you will receive a copy of the report. Please note that it will take about 2 hours from
the time that you arrive to the time that you are ready to go home.
After the Endoscopy and for the Rest of the Day
ξ Do not return to work.
ξ Do not drive.
ξ Do not use hazardous machinery.
ξ Do not make any important decisions.
ξ Plan to rest.
ξ Do not drink alcohol.
You should be able to resume your regular diet and normal daily tasks on the day after your test.
You may have a mild sore throat – salt water gargles should help.
You may have some gas pains from the air used to distend your stomach. When you belch you
will expel the air and relieve any gas pains.
How to Contact Us
University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics
GI Procedure Clinic
600 Highland Avenue
(608) 263-8097 or (800) 323-8942
Digestive Health Center
750 University Row
202 S. Park Street
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©3/2015. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4330