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?
Before an endoscopy, your stomach must be empty, so your eating and drinking will be restricted to prepare for the procedure. Your doctor or nurse will provide specific directions based on your particular case. 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 Can I Eat Before an Endoscopy?
Eat a light dinner the night before the procedure, and only drink fluids up until midnight. Beginning at midnight (or ~6 hours before the procedure – whichever comes first), avoid all food and drinks including water, gum, and mints. You should also steer clear of red or orange liquids. Always check with your provider about their individual preferences prior to the procedure.
What Foods Can I Eat After an Endoscopy?
To prepare for your procedure, you should ask your doctor what to eat after an endoscopy so that you have the right foods at home. The foods you eat after your endoscopy should be soft and easily digested. Examples of acceptable soft foods include:
You shouldn’t eat or drink after an endoscopy until you can comfortably swallow. When you resume eating, you should keep your meals small and light for 24-48 hours after the procedure. Alcohol should also be avoided for at least 24 hours. Once you feel like you’re back to normal, you can resume your typical diet. If it hurts to eat after an endoscopy, please contact your doctor.
Can I Have Coffee Before or After an Endoscopy?
Yes, coffee is considered a clear liquid because you can see through it. Other examples of clear liquids include, water, tea, soda, sports drinks, popsicles and clear broths. Though clear, you should avoid alcohol. As always, check with your provider for their specific recommendations.
Visit Baptist Health to Learn More About Endoscopies
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 on when and what to eat. 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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