Upper GI Endoscopy

Thank you for choosing Tufts Medical Center's GI Motility Service. We have provided the below instructions to ensure that your time in our care is as pleasant and safe as possible. Please read all instructions carefully before your upper GI endoscopy procedure as these directions are critical to your health and safety.

The procedure and what to expect

An upper endoscopy is an examination of the esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine) under direct vision. The procedure is performed by passing a small flexible instrument (an endoscope) which has a light and a camera on the end through the mouth into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. An upper endoscopy is performed after giving you a medication to make you comfortable: most patients fall asleep and are not aware of the procedure.

Planning for your appointment

The Tufts Medical Center GI Motility Unit is located on the third floor in the Proger building. To find information on directions, parking and our campus map, visit the hospital locations and directions page >

Plan to spend about two to three hours in our unit for your procedure. We will do everything possible to avoid a delay, but emergencies may interrupt the schedule. Please arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled procedure time.

When preparing to come to the Medical Center for your appointment, please be sure to first:

  • Be sure you have an insurance referral, if required by your insurance company.
  • Be prepared to pay any co-payment on the day of your procedure.
  • Please arrange for an adult escort, 18 years or older, to take you home after the procedure (more info below). 
  • Please bring the following items with you:
    • Your completed medical questionnaire and list of medication(s).
    • Your hospital card.

Please arrange for an adult escort, 18 years or older, to take you home after the procedure. You will be receiving sedation and you should not drive until the next day. Your escort does not have to come with you when you check in but MUST meet you in the Endoscopy Unit on Proger 3 when you are ready to go home. You are still required to have an adult escort, 18 years or older, if you plan to take the T, taxi, ride sharing service, THE RIDE or are walking home. If you do not have an escort on the day of your procedure, your procedure will be CANCELLED and RESCHEDULED. 

*If you are above 60 years of age and need an escort home, volunteer escorts may be available if scheduled 2 weeks in advance. 

If you are unable to keep your appointment, please call us at least 48 hours in advance to re-schedule: 617-636-0142.

Preparing for your procedure

FIVE DAYS before your procedure

  • Review and complete the medical questionnaire and medication list.
  • If you have diabetes and take medication to control your blood sugar, contact your primary care physician or diabetes doctor for instruction on how to take your diabetes medication while preparing for this procedure.
  • If you take any BLOOD THINNING MEDICATIONS OTHER THAN ASPIRIN (for example:  Coumadin (Warfarin), Eliquis, Pradaxa, Xarelto, Plavix, Brillinta, Lovenox), contact your primary care physician or heart doctor for instructions on if and when to stop these medications prior to your procedure.  ASPIRIN may be continued prior to the procedure.
  • Continue to take your other daily medications.

ONE DAY before your procedure

  • PLEASE CONFIRM YOUR ARRANGEMENT FOR SOMEONE TO TAKE YOU HOME (even if you are walking, taking public transportation, or a taxi).
  • You must NOT have anything to eat after midnight on the night before the procedure.
  • You may have clear liquids the night before the procedure which includes water, tea, black coffee, clear broth, apple juice, Gatorade, soda, and Jell-O.

For procedures scheduled AFTER NOON

  • If your procedure is scheduled in the afternoon, you may have a clear liquid breakfast as indicated above UP TO FOUR HOURS BEFORE YOUR PROCEDURE.

Day of the procedure

  • Take all of your usual medicines (except those indicated above) with a sip of water.
  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled procedure time.
  • Please leave all jewelry at home.

After your procedure

  • You will be monitored in the Endoscopy Unit area for approximately one hour.
  • You will receive diet and medication instructions after your procedure.
  • You may return to work the day after the procedure.