How do I prepare for an upper endoscopy?

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Here's a synopsis of the key things that you should do to prepare for an upper endoscopy, a medical procedure to visually examine the esophagus, the stomach, and part of the duodenum:
  1. Call your insurance company and ask if the endoscopy test is covered for the reason given by your doctor.
  2. Ask your insurance company if you need a referral for the upper endoscopy. If they say "yes," then you MUST get a referral from your primary care physician.
  3. Update your hospital registration.
  4. Make plans for someone to come with you to the hospital.
  5. If you take Coumadin, Plavix, or other blood thinners, please talk to the doctor who prescribed it.
  6. If you are diabetic, please talk to your doctor about how to take your medication in order to prevent low blood sugar.
An empty stomach allows for the best and safest upper endoscopy examination, so you should have nothing to eat or drink, including water, for approximately six hours before the examination. Your doctor will tell you when you should start fasting as the timing can vary. Tell your doctor in advance about any medications you take; you might need to adjust your usual dose for the examination. Discuss any allergies to medications as well as medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.