Hardeep M. Singh, M.D.
Gastroenterologist located in Irvine, Newport Beach, and Orange, CA
An upper endoscopy is one of the best ways to diagnose or treat illnesses of the esophagus, stomach, and upper portion of the small intestine. This common outpatient procedure usually takes as little as a half-hour and is often pain-free when performed by a trained specialist. At the practice of Hardeep M. Singh, MD, in Orange County, California, Dr. Singh’s friendly team can help you schedule your upper endoscopy today. Call the office or make an appointment online using the online scheduling tool. Dr. Singh is proud to serve the neighboring communities of Irvine, Newport Beach and Orange,.
What is an upper endoscopy?
An upper endoscopy is a common outpatient procedure that allows Dr. Singh to visually examine your esophagus, stomach, and parts of the small intestine using a tiny camera on a long, flexible tube. This can be done to find the source of symptoms like chronic vomiting or abdominal pain, to diagnose diseases or take a biopsy, or to treat certain problems with the upper digestive system.
An endoscopy is often combined with other procedures, like an ultrasound, to help get the clearest possible picture of the inner workings of your upper digestive system.
Why would I need an upper endoscopy?
Usually, an upper endoscopy is done to investigate symptoms or diagnose a disease or injury. Unlike a colonoscopy, most people don’t need an upper endoscopy on a regular basis to screen for disease. An upper endoscopy can be used to discover the source of symptoms like:
- Abdominal or chest pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty or inability to swallow
Endoscopy is also helpful for diagnosing inflammation, ulcers, and the damage and irritation caused by acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The endoscope is one of the most accurate ways to look for tumors in the digestive system, and it can even perform a biopsy on any growths or tumors it finds.
What is it like to get an upper endoscopy?
Endoscopy can be completed in under a half-hour. When discussing your endoscopy with Dr. Singh, make sure to inform him of any medications you’re taking, as well as if you are pregnant, have a history of heart disease or heart valve problems, or if you are diabetic.
You’ll be asked to avoid eating or drinking for about 8 hours before the procedure to keep your digestive system clear. Many people find it helpful to schedule an endoscopy in the morning so that they can fast overnight, then eat breakfast after the procedure.
You’ll be given a mild sedative to help you relax, so you must make arrangements ahead of time to get a ride home from the office as the effects wear off. When you’re ready, Dr. Singh will insert the endoscope through your mouth. You’ll feel pressure from the scope, and you will likely be unable to talk while the scope is in your mouth, but you will be able to breathe normally and shouldn’t experience any pain. Dr. Singh will use the endoscope to inspect your digestive system and take any necessary biopsies.
If you have any questions about an upper endoscopy procedure or would like to schedule an appointment, call the office today or make an appointment online.
- Continue all medications prior to the exam unless otherwise directed by Dr.Singh
- If you take any blood-thinners such as Aspirin, Plavix, Coumadin or others, please discuss this with Dr.Singh as he may need to stop these prior to your procedure
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight
- The morning of your procedure, you may take all of your usual medications unless otherwise directed by Dr.Singh.
- You will be sedated during your endoscopy. Because of this you will not be able to drive after the procedure and will need to arrange for someone to drive you home.
Before the procedure, you’ll be given an intravenous sedative to make you pleasantly drowsy. During the EGD you’ll be lying down either on your back or on a side in a comfortable position. The endoscope will be gently guided from your mouth to your esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The endoscope doesn’t interfere with breathing; you’ll be able to breathe comfortably throughout the procedure. To ensure that Dr. Singh can see the area clearly, he may introduce some air into your stomach. The procedure usually lasts from 5-15 minutes. For most patients, the procedure is not uncomfortable and many will sleep through the procedure.
You’ll be recovering for 1-2 hours from the immediate effects of the sedative. Dr. Singh will discuss the results of your upper endoscopy with you after the procedure, or with your family if you are still asleep. If a biopsy has been taken during the procedure, results will be available in 3-5 days. You will need a ride back home, shouldn’t make any important decisions, and will be best advised to rest for the remainder of the day.
You may feel a little bloated, which is a common reaction to the air pumped into your stomach during EGD. The feeling will pass within hours as you expel gas. Should you have a sore throat, gargling with salt water will relieve it. Unless Dr. Singh instructed you differently, you’ll be able to resume your normal diet and medication schedule after you go back home. Complications after EGD are uncommon. Should you experience fever, chills, chest pains, persisting sore throat, abdominal pain or notice a significant amount of blood in your stool, contact Dr. Singh immediately.