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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust


What is an Endoscopy?

Upper endoscopy enables us to look inside your oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). The procedure might be used to discover:

the reason for swallowing difficulties

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • reflux
  • bleeding
  • indigestion
  • abdominal pain
  • chest pain

Upper endoscopy is also called OGD, which stands for oesophagogastroduodenoscopy.

What happens during the procedure?

For the procedure you will swallow a thin, flexible, lighted tube called an endoscope. Right before the procedure we will spray your throat with a numbing agent that may help prevent gagging. You may also receive pain medicine and a sedative to help you relax during the exam.

The endoscope transmits an image of the inside of the oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum, so we can carefully examine the lining of these organs. The scope also blows air into the stomach; this expands the folds of tissue and makes it easier for us to examine the stomach.

We can see abnormalities, like inflammation or bleeding, through the endoscope that don't show up well on x-rays. We can also insert instruments into the scope to treat bleeding abnormalities or remove samples of tissue (biopsy) for further tests.

The procedure takes 20 to 30 minutes. If you choose to be sedated, you will need to rest at the endoscopy facility for 1 to 2 hours until the medication wears off.

What preparation do i need to take before the procedure?

Your stomach and duodenum must be empty for the procedure to be thorough and safe, so you will not be able to eat or drink anything for at least 6 hours beforehand.

Also, you must arrange for someone to take you home — you will not be allowed to drive because of the sedatives. We may also give you other special instructions.