Preparing for an Upper Endoscopy Procedure

Emergency Department

202 S. Park St.
Madison, WI 53715

7 min Average

Preparing for Your Upper Endoscopy Procedure

Page Content

Procedure Instructions


  1. Transportation. 
    • Arrange for someone to drive you to and from the procedure.
    • Do not use a taxi or bus unless you have someone that can join you for the ride home. 
    • You cannot drive for the remainder of the day after your procedure because of the sedation medications. If you are not able to arrange for a driver, we will need to reschedule your appointment. 
    • Arrange for your driver to be with you after the procedure to talk with your doctor and nurses. Due to the medications, you may not remember important information.
  2. Please do not bring children with you if at all possible. The time spent waiting during the procedure, including prep and recovery time, can be stressful for children. 
  3. Jewelry. We highly recommend you remove all jewelry, including wedding rings, and leave them at home. Tongue piercings must be removed. 
  4. Pregnancy Testing. Female patients of child-bearing age may be asked to provide a urine sample if pregnancy status is unknown. If you are pregnant, risks and benefits should be discussed with your physician prior to continuing with the procedure. 
  5. Blood Thinning Medicine (Warfarin, Coumadin®, Plavix® or enoxaparin). If you are taking blood thinners, you must talk to your prescribing physician or primary care provider about safely stopping the drug. It is recommended these medications be stopped for 5 days prior to your procedure. Enoxaparin is to be held 12 hours prior to procedure. If you are unable to discontinue taking these medications temporarily, your procedure may be cancelled. 

Five Days Before Your Procedure 

  1. After receiving approval from your prescribing doctor or primary doctor, the following medications should be stopped: 
    • Plavix® 
    • Warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven® 
    • Dabigatran, Pradaxa®  
  2. It is safe to continue taking: 
    • Aspirin 
    • Anti-inflammatory pain relievers (Advil®, Nuprin®, Aleve®, naproxen sodium, ibuprofen) 


Day of Your Procedure 

1. No solid food after midnight. You may have clear liquids until 4 hours before your procedure time, then nothing by mouth. You may brush your teeth or rinse your mouth. 2. Take your routine medications (with exception to the medications noted earlier). 3. Plan to be at the Digestive Health Center for a total of 2-4 hours. This includes registration, prep, procedure and recovery time. 4. Do not plan to drive, or return to work or school until the next day. 

Things to Bring With You

  1. Bring a current list of medications and dosages. 
  2. If you have sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine, please bring the machine with you. 
  3. If you would like to update your health file with a living will and/or durable power of attorney for health care, please bring a copy of it to your procedure. 

Moderate Sedation: What You Can Expect 

Moderate sedation is a mixture of medicines given during a procedure to help relieve pain and anxiety. While under moderate sedation, you are able to answer questions, speak to your health care professionals and breathe on your own. The medications may cause you to have brief memory loss during your procedure and for a short time afterward. 

After Your Procedure

You will be monitored after your treatment. During this time, a nurse will check your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and alertness. You will be sent home with your responsible adult driver and written instructions. You may feel sleepy and light-headed, but this feeling will fade. 

  • Do not drive a car, operate machinery or power tools. 
  • Do not drink any alcoholic drinks. 
  • Do not make important legal decisions. 
  • Do not smoke for the first 8 hours without supervision. 
  • Do not cook on a stove or use a microwave without supervision.

Download and Print These Instructions

Endoscopy Prep Instructions