Understanding upper endoscopy

At Icon Specialist Centre we offer the latest in treatment methods and technologies to treat gastrointestinal and colorectal conditions.

Our experienced team of colorectal surgeons are dedicated to delivering exceptional care and supporting you through your diagnosis, treatment, and beyond.

Understanding upper endoscopy

Ahead of your endoscopy, it’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed by the amount of new information people are sharing with you.

Knowing more about your procedure and what to expect before and after can help you prepare. The following information has been put together to help you understand your procedure and we hope to reduce any concerns you have.

We encourage you to speak to your doctor and care team, who are here to support you throughout your time at Icon.

We will always have time to talk to you and answer your questions.

What is an upper endoscopy?

An upper endoscopy is a short procedure performed under monitored anaesthetic care (MAC) or intravenous sedation (IVS) to investigate or diagnose upper gastrointestinal conditions including:

  • Oesophageal cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Polyps
  • Oesophageal gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST)
  • Oesophagitis
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Varices

The procedure is performed using an endoscope to view the inside of the upper gastrointestinal tract and investigate abnormal tissue or polyps. An upper endoscopy, also known as oesophagogastroduodenoscopy (OGD), involves the insertion of a long, narrow flexible tube with a camera, which also includes a light, irrigation and insufflation systems, into the mouth through to the duodenum. Using different accessory instruments, an OGD can be used to both diagnose and treat a range of conditions through procedures such as biopsy (taking a tissue sample of abnormal polyps or suspicious lesions for further examination). The procedure can also be performed to remove foreign bodies, test for Helicobacter pylori, stop bleeding or relieve obstruction through stenting.

Why is an upper endoscopy performed?

Your surgeon may suggest an upper endoscopy to investigate or diagnose upper gastrointestinal conditions if you have a family history of oesophageal cancer or to further investigate the following conditions:

  • Ingestion of a foreign body
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Vomiting blood
  • Anaemia
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Heartburn and acid reflux
  • Passing tarry stool
  • A mass in the abdomen

Common questions

It’s natural to want to know more about your procedure. We’ve included some common questions that patients ask about an endoscopy to help you. Your treatment team at Icon can also answer any additional questions that you have at any point in time.

How do I prepare for an upper endoscopy?

Prior to an endoscopy, it is important to inform your doctor of any drug allergy, regular medications (e.g. oral hypoglycaemic drug, anti-coagulant, anti-platelet agent) or pre-existing medical condition (e.g. diabetes mellitus, hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, valvular heart disease, pacemaker in situ). If you are currently on blood thinners, these should be stopped prior to the endoscopy as advised by your doctor.

To prepare for your endoscopy, you will be required to fast for six hours prior to your procedure.

Making an appointment

Find out how to make an appointment at Icon Specialist Centre, or request more information from your nearest centre.
Learn More

Care team

Every member of Icon’s team is here to help. Here are some of the team members you may meet and how they will be involved in your treatment.
Learn More

Our doctors

Icon brings together a strong and prominent team of medical specialists.
Learn More
View all