What happens during endoscopy procedure?

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi there, 

I am scheduled to have an Upper GI endoscopy this Friday. When it was originally referred my doctors gave me no information at all about it. I have spoken to them since specifically about it but they aren't very helpful so I was hoping somebody that has had the procedure done could give me some insight on a few things. 

How long, on average does it take? 

Do you have to stay for a bit afterwards, or can you leave right away? 

Are you allowed to wear your own clothes? 

What are the side effects of the sedatives and how long do they tend to last? Nobody apart from my boyfriend knows I am having this done and I'd like to keep it this way, so I am hoping I won't be "out of it" and will be straight back to normal afterwards. 

Are you allowed to be accompanied by someone? 

My boyfriend is taking me to the appointment. If they sedate me and I fall asleep during the procedure, will they go and get my boyfriend before they wake me up? I have bad reactions to being woken up by other people and wouldn't want to wake up alone as I have never had a procedure like this done or a sedative and don't know how I will be feeling. 

I'm not allowed to eat for 6 hours prior, so how long do you think it will take before I can eat afterwards? 

Sorry for all the questions, I appreciate there are a lot so any info you can give for any of these will be greatly appreciated to put me at ease.  [Smile]

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  • Posted


    There's really no need to worry.  I had an endoscopy several months ago and was very worried about it but it was much better than I thought it was going to be.  You don't need to take any clothes off by the way so you can wear what you like. I opted for not having sedation which meant I could go home almost straight away, well, after a drink. You ask how long it takes, mine took about five minutes which I believe is normal, unless you make life difficult for them by making a fuss!!  My husband had gone with me but he had to sit outside while they did it as the endoscopy room had a couple of nurses and the doctor and there wasn't much room for anyone else in there.. They take you into the room, spray the back of your throat to numb it and that was the worst bit, (it tasted horrible) then you lie on a bed on your side, they dim the lights and the doctor will talk you through what he's doing.  I concentrated on swallowing as the camera went down which was a great help and I didn't gag like I thought I would because I think the swallowing stops you gagging.  The procedure is quick, the doctor told me what he'd found or not found and told me when he was going to take the camera out and I gagged once that was all. He was so impressed at how calm I was and he said he should have made a video to show his nervous patients (if only he knew I was one of them!!!) I was given a print out of the results, I sat and had a drink and  that was it, I went home, well I didn't really, my husband and I left the hospital and drove down to Devon for a few days, nothing to do with the endoscopy. I could eat when i wanted although my throat was slightly sore for a few hours but absolutely no ill effects.  I spoke to a man who had had the sedation and he was jealous that I was able to go home and he had to sit around for an hour or so after so I should think carefully about whether you want sedation as it's so quick and your throat is numb so I really don't see the point of it.  Hope this helps.  Good luck.

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  • Posted

    1) The procedure lasts around 5 minutes.

    2) If you do not have the sedative and only the throat numbing spray you can leave immediately. With the sedative you have to remain there for a few hours.

    3) You will not be asleep during the procedure. It is quite uncomfortable as you have to lie on your side, but luckily it is only 4-5 minutes as I mentioned.

    4) You can be accompanied but I don't think they are allowed in the procedure room.

    5) I actually walked home 5 minutes after having it done and was back in my local pub about 90 minutes afterwards.

    The only thing I would say is when the tube is down your throat it can make you gag (it's about 3/4 inch diameter), I was dribbling saliva and sweating profusely but as it's only short it's manageable - I've had worse done to me.

    I would personally not have sedation, I saw the others on the same day who had took sedation and I don't think it makes this particular procedure any more pleasant and the fact you have to stay hours after the procedure didn't appeal to me.

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    • Posted

      Hi, I appreciate that with a sedative you have to stay longer but that is non-issue for me. I simply won't get the procedure done without it.
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    • Posted

      Hi Novaka,

      My endoscopy was quick and simple, no pain or real discomfort. No sedative either. They put a throat guard in the back of my mouth and I didn't feel anything until the camera got down further and then didn't hurt, just facinating. Please remember this is for your benefit. The more you help them, the easier and better they can do it. Even with the throat guard I was able to swallow and didn't gag.

      I think there is another posting on here somewhere about endoscopys.

      Take care, Daffs

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  • Posted

    Ah, the throat guard, thank you Daffs  I'd forgotten that until you reminded me.  I think it's not so much a throat guard as something you have between your teeth, not to protect your throat but more to stop you biting their expensive endoscope!

    Novaka, in spite of several messages saying its quick etc. you still don't seem to have had your mind put at east.  Sedation is only supposed to make you feel sleepy, it's not an anaesthetic.  I believe the sedative is given through a needle into a vein and I can't believe that that is better than just a spray down the throat.  You haven't had a reply to your question of the side effects of the sedative, this is because everyone who has answered hadn't had it so I suppose it would be good if someone who had had the sedative could let you know the answer.

    You say you have bad reactions at being woken up by other people and wouldn't want to wake up alone, I have to say that I would be more worried about your bad reaction to being woken up than by the endoscopy.  I suppose you could explain your problem so that they could fetch your boyfriend but if the room you have it done in is anything like the one I had my endoscopy done in it might be rather cramped so that might not be possible. If you don't have the sedation you shouldn't fall asleep so your problem will not arise.  By the way, as your boyfriend seems to be the only person you can wake up with I just hope you don't have a falling out and he leaves you.

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    • Posted


      The guard was put in the back of my throat and helped the camera go around that corner. Whatever the throat guard was for. Can't remember if I even tried to close my mouth, shouldn't think so.

      Also did a scrape of my tum and didn't feel that either.

      Best, Daffs

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    • Posted

      Hiya, thanks for your reply. I am a very anxious person so even if it doesn't seem bad I am still completely overreacting. I am taking meds for that though so hopefully it won't be too bad. I can wake up alone just fine, I just get a nasty shock if it's anyone else waking me up apart from him. Thanks for your concern. smile
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