Upper Endoscopy - Southern Arizona VA Health Care System
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Southern Arizona VA Health Care System


Upper Endoscopy

What is an Upper Endoscopy?

An esophagogastroduodenoscopy  (EGD or Upper Endoscopy) is an outpatient procedure in which the esophagus, stomach and first part of the small bowel is examined. This test is done using a flexible tube (scope) that has a camera and a light at the end. The tube is carefully moved through your upper GI tract while you are sedated. The doctor will examine the three portions of the upper GI tract and may take small samples of tissue for testing (biopsies). An EGD is done to check for ulcers, check for problems from long-term reflux and look for other disease of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract.


If you take blood thinners such as: Coumadin (warfarin), Plavix (clopidigrel) Pradaxa (dabigatran), Xarelto(rivaroxaban) Eliquis (apixiban), Effient (prasugrel) Brilinta (ticagrelor) Cilostazol (pletal), you must speak to your doctor who prescribes the medication for you. This may be your primary doctor, anticoagulation clinic or cardiologist. They will tell you the number of days to hold the blood thinner before your procedure.


  • DO NOT take any insulin or diabetes pills on the day of the procedure.
  • Consult your provider for questions about your diabetes.

Upper Endoscopy Instructions
Days Before                                   

Do NOT take iron, vitamins, fiber supplements, aspirin (325 milligrams), or NSAIDS such as: Motrin (ibuprofen), Naproxen, Meloxicam, Advil and Aleve.

Day of Procedure   
solid food after midnight.

Until 6 hours before your procedure you may consume:

  • Clear bouillon or broth
  • Tea or Black coffee (no milk or creamer) 
  • Gatorade, Crystal Light, Kool-Aid (NO RED)
  • Apple juice, white grape juice, and/ or white cranberry juice
  • Plain jello or popsicles (NO RED)

You may NOT consume:

  • No milk products
  • No alcohol

Take your blood pressure, seizure, and pain medication with a sip of water.

Six hours before your appointment do not drink anything.                    

Please arrive on time for your appointment time at the Special Procedures Unit, Building 50, 3rd floor.

Note: Female patients under the age of 55 will be required to provide a urine specimen upon arrival.


  • You will be sedated for the endoscopy.
  • Bring a responsible adult (over 18 years old) to your appointment. We will ask them to wait in the lobby and after the procedure, take you home.
  • Please note: If you arrive without a responsible adult, even if you complete the prep, your procedure may need to be rescheduled. Please call your Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT)to discuss options in advance if you do not have someone to come with you.
Additional Resources

The following links are provided for general information purposes only. They are not endorsed by the Veterans Health Administration and should not be used in place of medical advice from your Primary Care Doctor or your Gastrointestinal Doctor

What to Expect From Your Upper Endoscopy Procedure 

After your Procedure

  • No driving, important decision making or alcohol for 24 hours.
  • Rest for the remainder of the day.
  • If tissue is removed, a letter with biopsy results will be mailed within 2 weeks.