Your doctor wishes you to have an examination of your
esophagus, stomach and duodenum, so that he can have an
understanding of any disease process or condition which is
present. This will help him to understand and treat your
symptoms. Preparation for the examination requires that you
have an empty stomach. This means you must not take any food
or drink or anything by mouth for several hours (usually
overnight) before the examination. Solid foods should
definitely be avoided 6 hours before the procedure and
liquids 4 hours before the procedure.
Because many patients are nervous and apprehensive about the
examination, we usually administer "conscious sedation" -
(see "Conscious Sedation - what you need to know"). We
usually administer a small dose of Dormicum®, or similar
sedative, into the vein. If you have had an unfavorable
reaction to any drug, you should tell the examining
physician before the medication is given. A local
anaesthetic is given to numb the back of the throat and ease
the passage of the instrument into the esophagus.
The examination is conducted with the patient lying on his
left side on a comfortable table in a partially darkened
room. A long flexible tube is placed in the mouth and as the
patient swallows, the doctor advances the tube into the
esophagus. A mouth guard is usually present for the patient
to rest his teeth on and to protect the instrument. As the
examination is conducted, the doctor pumps a small amount of
air into the esophagus and stomach and he may remove
secretions by suction. As the instrument is passed beyond
the stomach or small intestine, there is usually a tugging
sensation which many people find unpleasant, but this
subsides when the instrument is withdrawn into the stomach.
Tiny bits of tissue may be removed with the biopsy forceps
for examination under the microscope. The patient does not
feel this procedure.
There are certain risks to this procedure:
An occasional patient has some inflammation at the site of
the injection. This usually settles in a few days.
Some patients may complain of a sore throat following the
procedure. This usually settles down in a day or so. Should
you continue to have a sore throat, fever, or swelling,
please do not hesitate to contact your doctor.
There is a very small chance of damage to your
esophagus and stomach during the procedure.
Aspiration - that is inhalation of stomach content.
- Bleeding after biopsy occurs extremely rarely.
After the examination is completed, the instrument is
removed and you will be asked to rest in an adjoining
room for an hour or so until the effects of the sedation
have subsided. After this, you may resume your normal
If you have any questions, please ask your doctor.