Endoscopy FAQs

What is an endoscopy used to diagnose?

Your GI specialist may use an endoscopy to gather tissue samples to help diagnose a variety of diseases and conditions – including bleeding, anemia, diarrhea, inflammation or cancers within the digestive system.

What diseases can be detected by an upper endoscopy?

Here at Charleston GI, our gastroenterologists utilize upper GI endoscopies to discover the following diseases:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Inflammation or swelling
  • Ulcers
  • Celiac disease
  • Cancer link
  • Precancerous abnormalities such as Barrett’s esophagus
  • Blockages
  • Strictures or narrowing of the esophagus

What is the difference between an upper endoscopy and a capsule endoscopy?

During your upper endoscopy, you will be placed on your side and your gastroenterologist will pass an endoscope through your mouth. The endoscope will travel through your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, without disrupting your breathing. Innovative technology even allows your GI doctor to insert instruments into the scope to collect a tissue sample if a polyp or abnormality is detected.

The capsule endoscopy procedure, in contrast, utilizes a pill-sized capsule camera. Once swallowed, the tiny camera travels through your digestive tract, transmitting images along the way. This gives your GI specialist a unique view that can be utilized to detect and diagnose any concerns.

What is the difference between an upper endoscopy and a colonoscopy?

An upper endoscopy is used to diagnose the digestive tract in a nonsurgical procedure (also called upper endoscopy, EGD, asendoscopy, or esophagogastroduodenoscopy). A colonoscopy is a specific type of endoscopy used to assess the lower part of the digestive tract, including the rectum and large intestine or colon. Your gastroenterologist can help answer any other questions you may have about the difference between the two.

Is there another name for an upper endoscopy?

Yes, some GI specialists may refer to the procedure as EGD, asendoscopy, or esophagogastroduodenoscopy.

Can I drive after my upper endoscopy procedure?

No, you cannot drive for 24 hours after the endoscopy procedure. You will need to arrange for a ride to take you home while the sedatives wear off.

Can I eat or drink before the procedure?

Yes. However, your gastroenterologist will instruct you to stop eating or drinking up to 8 hours before the endoscopy procedure.

What can I eat the day before an upper endoscopy (EGD)?

The day before your upper endoscopy, you can eat and drink normally. However, you should have nothing to eat or drink for 6 to 8 hours before the start of the procedure. Your gastroenterologist can provide more details if needed.

How soon after my upper endoscopy can I eat?

You can eat your normal meals after your upper endoscopy. Your Charleston GI specialist will highly recommend going slow and eating lighter than your normal meal size.

Can I brush my teeth before an endoscopy?

Yes, but be sure to avoid swallowing anything 6 to 8 hours before your procedure.

Will I be sedated during the upper endoscopy?

Yes. Your Charleston GI specialist will administer an IV sedative to help you relax or will provide a numbing solution/spray to soothe your throat during the upper endoscopy procedure.

Is the upper endoscopy procedure painful?

Not at all. Before the procedure, your GI specialist will administer anesthesia for your comfort with either a sedative or a numbing solution. You will feel little to nothing during the upper endoscopy procedure. If you experience any discomfort, you will be conscious enough to inform your Charleston GI gastroenterologist.

Can I take my normal medications before my test?

Yes. In most cases, your GI specialist will recommend taking your regular medications if needed. If you have a medical condition like diabetes and are taking medication for it, please inform your gastroenterologist. We will review the medication and then provide further instructions.

Will my insurance cover my endoscopy?

Some insurance companies pay for your endoscopy, but every insurance plan carries different benefits depending on the employer. We will not be able to tell you if your particular plan covers this benefit until we obtain your insurance information. We suggest you contact your specific insurance carrier before scheduling your procedure. Our billing office is also available at 843-793-5182 to answer questions.

How long will I have to wait for a refill of my prescription?

Please allow 24 to 48 hours for prescription refills.

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