Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (Upper GI)

Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is commonly called an OGD which stands for oesophago-gastro-duodenoscopy.

This test looks at the oesophagus (gullet), stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small bowel) and can show what is wrong if you are having difficulties with swallowing, indigestion, heartburn or nausea.

If your GP has referred you for an OGD, you will receive an appointment letter and information leaflet.  The information leaflet will provide you with more details about the test and how to prepare for it.

The test will be carried out by an endoscopist who may be a gastroenterologist, surgeon or nurse specialist.

It is important that you:

  1. Do not eat or drink anything for six hours before the test
  2. Contact your nurse or doctor if you are a diabetic, as you will need advice on adjusting your medication for the test.
  3. Contact the endoscopy unit if you are taking any medication to thin the blood as changes in dosage may be required.  If you are on Warfarin, you may require a repeat INR.

What will happen during an OGD?

In the examination room you will be made comfortable on a couch, resting on your left side. A nurse will stay with you throughout the test. The endoscopist may spray a local anaesthetic to the back of your mouth and throat to numb the area. This will make your throat feel thick and numb but it does not affect your breathing. To keep your mouth slightly open, a plastic mouthpiece will be put gently between your teeth.

This test is normally carried out without sedation and you will have the opportunity to discuss this with the doctor or nurse before the test.

When the endoscopist passes the endoscope into your stomach it can be uncomfortable but should not cause you any pain, nor will it interfere with your breathing at any time. The nurse will advise you to breathe normally and reassure you. It may take up to fifteen minutes to examine all the areas of the stomach carefully.

After the test

If you have had only throat spray you are free to leave once you have received your discharge advice, which will also advise you when you can resume eating and drinking following the test.

You may have a mild sore throat for a day or two. All instructions will be given in the discharge advice and patients are provided with a leaflet with all information.

If you opted for sedation during the procedure, you will be supervised while you rest in the recovery unit for up to one hour, until the main effects of any medication wear off.

It is important that you don’t drive after the procedure to ensure that you get home safely, as the sedation impairs reflexes and judgment. Rest for the remainder of the day.  All instructions will be given to you at the time of your discharge.

When will you get the results?

In many cases the endoscopist will be able to tell you the results straight after the test. However, if a sample (biopsy) has been taken for examination, the results may take several days.  Results will be sent back to either your GP or referring consultant.

Sometimes a biopsy is taken to check for the presence of an organism in the stomach which could increase the risk of ulcers. This test result will be given to you before you leave the unit.




Share this page

Email Icon Print Icon

Investors In People