Eating Before & After an Endoscopy

An upper endoscopy is a medical procedure in which a camera on the end of a flexible tube is put into the patient’s mouth and moved down into the upper part of the digestive tract. A doctor called a gastroenterologist, who specializes in the digestive system, uses the camera to perform an examination. An endoscopy can be used to diagnose conditions affecting the beginning of the small intestine (called the duodenum), stomach and esophagus, and in some cases, treat them. 

The procedure must be performed with no food in the stomach. This article provides information on eating before and after an endoscopy.

Can I Eat Before an Endoscopy?

If your doctor says they’ll be ordering testing for your digestive problem, you may be wondering, “Can you eat before an endoscopy?”. The answer is that your stomach must be empty, so your eating and drinking will be restricted before the procedure. Your doctor or nurse will provide specific directions based on your particular case.

How Long Before an Endoscopy Can I Eat?

People who are scheduled for an endoscopy will typically ask, “How long before an endoscopy can I eat?”. While your doctor may have different requirements for you, generally speaking, patients shouldn’t eat or drink for at least six hours before the procedure. This gives your body time to move any food in your system farther down the digestive tract.

What Foods Can I Eat After an Endoscopy?

To prepare for your procedure, you should ask your doctor what to eat after endoscopy so that you have the right foods at home. The foods to eat after endoscopy should be soft and easily digested. Examples include:

  • Soup
  • Eggs
  • Pudding
  • Applesauce
  • Juice

You shouldn’t eat or drink until you can comfortably swallow. When you resume eating, you should keep your meals small and light for 24-48 hours. Once you feel like you’re back to normal, you can resume your typical diet.

Visit Baptist Health to Learn More

An endoscopy is an important diagnostic tool. To ensure that you’re able to have your procedure as scheduled, follow the instructions from your care team. And to be comfortable during your recovery, adhere to their recommendations for that part of the process as well.

If you have any questions about getting an endoscopy, reach out to the Baptist Health Imaging & Diagnostics team to schedule an appointment.

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