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What is upper gastrointestinal endoscopy?

This is a very useful way to examine your oesophagus, stomach and upper duodenum. A narrow flexible tube (an endoscope) is gently passed down your throat while you are sedated. This tube contains a very small camera which transmits light and images back to the doctor.

Sometimes this is used to diagnose a digestive problem you may be having, to remove a foreign object or a polyp, to stop any bleeding, or to stretch a narrow area (a stricture). The doctor will look for any signs of unhealthy digestive tissue (redness, inflammation, a lump or an ulcer) or may take a biopsy to reveal any underlying problems that may not be apparent during the procedure, (e.g. Lactose intolerance, Coeliac Disease).

The procedure itself takes between 15-30 minutes, after which you will rest to allow the sedation to wear off.


You must organise a driver and someone to look after you post procedure. The sedatives used for this procedure will mean that you are LEGALLY under the influence of a mind altering drug for a period of 12 hours. It is best not to work on the day of the examination.