During the procedure, your physician will use a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope, which has its own lens and light source, to view the images on a video monitor.
Your doctor may start by spraying your throat with a local anesthetic, or by giving you a sedative to help you relax. Lying on your side, your doctor will pass the endoscope through your mouth and into the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The endoscope doesn’t interfere with your breathing. Most patients consider the test only slightly uncomfortable, and many patients fall asleep during the procedure.
After the procedure concludes, you will be monitored until most of the effects of the medication have worn off. If you received sedatives, you won’t be allowed to drive after the procedure even though you might not feel tired. You should arrange for someone to accompany you home because the sedatives might affect your judgment and reflexes for the rest of the day.
Your throat might be a little sore, and you might feel bloated because of the air introduced into your stomach during the test. Unless your doctor instructs you otherwise, you will be able to eat after you leave. Generally, your doctor can tell you the results of the test on the day of the procedure. However, some test results may take several days.