How you prepare

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Your doctor will give you specific instructions to prepare for your endoscopy. In some cases your doctor may ask that you:

  • Fast before the endoscopy. You may be asked to stop drinking and eating four to eight hours before your endoscopy to ensure your stomach is empty for the procedure.
  • Stop taking certain medications. You may be asked to stop taking certain blood-thinning medications in the days before your endoscopy. Blood thinners may increase your risk of bleeding if certain procedures are performed during endoscopy. If you have chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure, your doctor will give you specific instructions regarding your medications.

Tell your doctor about all the medications and supplements you're taking before your endoscopy.

Plan ahead for your recovery

Most people undergoing an upper endoscopy will receive a sedative to relax them and make them more comfortable during the procedure. If you'll be sedated during the procedure, plan ahead for your recovery while the sedative wears off. You may feel mentally alert, but your memory, reaction times and judgment may be impaired. Find someone to drive you home. You may also need to take the day off from work. Don't make any important personal or financial decisions for 24 hours.

Aug. 29, 2012