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What happens during upper GI endoscopy?

An upper GI endoscopy usually takes about 30 minutes. We may offer you a sedative to help you relax, or spray local anaesthetic on the back of your throat meaning this area will be numb throughout the procedure.

A small mouth guard will be placed between your teeth to protect them.

Your consultant will place a flexible tube called an endoscope into the back of your throat and down into your stomach. You may be asked to swallow to help guide the tube. From here the endoscope will pass on into your duodenum. They will be able to look for problems in these organs such as inflammation or ulcers. The endoscope will not interfere with your breathing but initially you may experience a retching sensation. If you have a lot of saliva, suction similar to that used at the dentist may be used.

Your consultant will also be able to perform biopsies and take photographs to help make the diagnosis. When the examination is complete your consultant will gently remove the endoscope.

After your upper GI endoscopy

If you were given a sedative, you will normally recover in about an hour. You may feel a bit bloated for a few hours but this will pass. When the local anaesthetic in the back of your throat wears off you can drink and eat normally.

Your consultant, will tell you what was found during the endoscopy and will discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need. 
You may develop a sore throat or dry mouth and slight hoarseness, following the procedure. Throat lozenges and saltwater gargles can ease these symptoms.

You should be able to go back to work the day after the endoscopy.

Most people make a good recovery and return to normal activities following upper GI endoscopy.

Specific complications of upper GI endoscopy:

  • Sore throat
  • Allergic reaction
  • Breathing difficulties or heart irregularities
  • Making a hole in the oesophagus, stomach or duodenum
  • Damage to teeth or bridgework
  • Bleeding
  • Incomplete procedure
Find your nearest hospital that provides this test

67 Lansdowne Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1RW

01202 291866
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Shenfield Road, Brentwood, CM15 8EH

01277 695695
Overall rating Good

Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6DX

01273 624488
Overall rating Meeting standards

3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870
Overall rating Good

4 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, CB2 8AF

01223 370919
Overall rating Outstanding
Cardiff and Vale  

Cardiff Bay Hospital, Dunleavey Drive, Cardiff, CF11 0SN

02920 836700

Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, GL51 6SY

01242 246 500
Overall rating Good

Wrexham Road, Chester, CH4 7QP

01244 680 444
Overall rating Good

78 Broyle Road, Chichester, PO19 6WB

01243 530600
Overall rating Good

Rykneld Road, Derby, DE23 4SN

01332 540100
Overall rating Good

Wonford Road, Exeter, EX2 4UG

01392 262110
Overall rating Good

25 Beaconsfield Road, Glasgow, G12 0PJ


Stirling Road, Guildford, GU2 7RF

01483 555805
Overall rating Good
Haywards Heath  

Burrell Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1UD

01444 456999
Overall rating Good

Venns Lane, Hereford, HR1 1DF

01432 355 131
Overall rating Good

Foxhall Road, Ipswich, IP4 5SW

01473 279100
Overall rating Good

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

01133 882 067
Overall rating Outstanding

Scraptoft Lane, Leicester, LE5 1HY

0116 2769 401
Overall rating Good
Newcastle upon Tyne  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP

0191 281 6131
Overall rating Good
North Staffordshire  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 4DB

01782 625431
Overall rating Good

Beech Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7RP

01865 307777
Overall rating Good

Derriford Road, Plymouth, PL6 8BG

01752 775861
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Longden Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 9DP

01743 282628
Overall rating Good

Staplegrove Elm, Taunton, TA2 6AN

01823 286991
Overall rating Good

Junction Road, Norton, Stockton on Tees, TS20 1PX

01642 367439
Overall rating Outstanding
Tunbridge Wells  

Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4UL

01892 531111
Overall rating Good

The Chase, Old Milverton Lane, Leamington Spa, CV32 6RW

01926 436351
Overall rating Good

Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2DW

02380 266 377
Overall rating Good

Shores Road, Woking, GU21 4BY

01483 227800
Overall rating Good

Wood Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8LE

01902 754 177
Overall rating Good

Haxby Road, York, YO31 8TA

01904 715000
Overall rating Good

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