Upper and Lower Endoscopy

An endoscopy is a procedure that allows a gastroenterologist to look at the inside of the gastrointestinal tract using an endoscope – a tube-like camera that is passed through an opening of the gastrointestinal tract (mouth or anus). It allows a gastroenterologist to take pictures, perform biopsies (taking tissue samples), stop bleeding, and even remove foreign objects.

An endoscopy is performed to discover reasons for problems that include:

  • swallowing difficulties
  • bleeding
  • indigestion
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • reflux
  • chest pain
  • diarrhea

Our pediatric gastroenterologists work closely with pediatric anesthesiologists to determine the best method for your child to undergo the procedure. Your child’s anesthesiologist will determine if he or she will have general anesthesia or conscious sedation (a type of sedation in which the individual has an altered level of consciousness but can respond to verbal directions). In either case, your child will not experience pain during the procedure.

Typically a colonoscopy and endoscopy are performed as outpatient procedures and do not require an overnight hospital stay. A colonoscopy can take from 30 to 60 minutes; an endoscopy can take 15 to 30 minutes. The procedure time is typically longer depending on the amount of time it takes for your child to fall asleep and wake up.

Most patients are fully awake and drinking clear liquids 30 minutes after the procedure. Although many patients may be able to tolerate full meals, we recommend a light lunch and dinner for the rest of the day. Your child should be able to return to school the next day.

The potential risks of an endoscopy should be discussed with your physician before you sign a consent form. If a biopsy has been performed, results are usually ready one week after the procedure. Please call our office, and at that time, your child’s physician may also recommend an adjustment or initiation of medication.

For more information on upper endoscopy, please download Upper Endoscopy for Kids in English or Spanish.

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Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
505 East 70th Street
Helmsley Medical Tower, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10021

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