Endoscopy FAQs

How long will the procedure take?

An upper endoscopy takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes. A colonoscopy takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes.

How long will I be there after the procedure?
Patients remain in the recovery area 30 to 40 minutes after their procedure.

Can I drive myself home or take a taxi?
The medication you receive during the procedure impairs your judgment, perception and coordination the rest of the day. Also, a side effect of the medication is forgetfulness. Therefore, you will need a responsible adult to escort you from our facility to your home to assure your personal safety.
NOTE: If your procedure is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. or later, your responsible adult must remain present at our Center. You may take a taxi home only if accompanied by a responsible adult. GIEA cannot perform your procedure unless transportation arrangements have been made.

Can I take aspirin or arthritis medication?
Aspirin and aspirin products are blood thinners. Because biopsies and/or polypectomies may be done during your procedure, these products should be avoided several days before your procedure and several days after. Your doctor will instruct you on whether you should stop aspirin as well as the number of days you should refrain from taking any aspirin products. You may take Tylenol for pain. If you take the drug Coumadin, please discuss any dosage adjustment with your doctor.

Will I be sleeping during my procedure?
You may receive anesthesia referred to as "conscious sedation." A combination of drugs to make you feel relaxed and very comfortable are administered through an I.V. (intravenous line). It is referred to as a conscious sedation because although you may be able to respond if spoken to, you may be asleep. You will have little, if any, recollection of the procedure. If you receive monitored anesthesia care, also known as IV sedation, you will be totally asleep, but breathing on your own, and will not respond to conversation.

Will I have pain following the procedure?
You should have little or no pain following your procedure. If you have an upper endoscopy, you may have a slight sore throat that can be relieved with warm liquids, throat lozenges or, if necessary, Tylenol.

If you have a colonoscopy, you may experience some cramping, gas or a sore rectum. Warm liquids and moving around will help the cramps and gas to pass. Vaseline jelly and Tylenol will help with any rectal discomfort.

If you have redness or swelling at the I.V. site, moist warm soaks will relieve the swelling. If it does not, notify your doctor.

Can my family or friends stay with me?
When your procedure is finished, your family member or friend may remain with you until discharge.

May I have visitors?
You must have one responsible adult to drive you home. Because of space limitations and your length of stay, we recommend that children, especially those under the age of 15, do not accompany you to the center.

Can I have alcohol?
Alcoholic beverages will add to the effect of the medications you will receive during your procedure. Because alcohol is a drug, mixing drugs of any kind is not advised.

Can I smoke while alone after my procedure?
You may fall asleep without warning after your procedure. This side effect is related to the medication you will receive during your procedure. Although we recommend that you never smoke, if you choose to smoke, please be sure that someone is with you so you do not fall asleep with any smoking materials in your hand or nearby.

Should I take my medications the day of my procedure?
If you take daily medications, ask your physician what medications you should take.