What to Expect at a GI Procedure

How to Prepare for a GI ProcedureWhat to Expect After a GI Procedure

Pancreas Center endoscopists will strive to ensure your experience is as comfortable for you as possible when you are here. Your procedure will be performed in the Endoscopy Suite on the 13th floor of the Herbert Irving Pavilion. The endoscopic procedures performed at The Pancreas Center are outpatient procedures. This means you will be able to leave the hospital the same day as your exam. Here is a summary of how your day will go:

Arrive and Register – 1 Hour Prior to Scheduled Procedure

When you arrive, you will be asked to fill out some paperwork at the registration desk. Someone on your treatment team will also confirm that you have followed all pre-procedural instructions to ensure you are prepared for endoscopic evaluation.

Anesthesia Consult

Before entering the consultation room, you will be brought to a holding area where an anesthesiologist will speak with you. At that time, your treatment team will decide whether you will receive conscious sedation or monitored anesthesia care, a deeper level of sedation. You will receive an IV at this time through which the sedation medication will be delivered once you are in the treatment room.

Endoscopic Procedure

After your anesthesia consultation, you will be brought into the procedure room and asked to position yourself on the treatment bed. Your treatment team will introduce themselves, confirm the procedure you are having, and answer any questions you may have. Once you are situated and prepared for the procedure, you will receive the sedative through an IV and the procedure will begin. Throughout the procedure, you will be able to respond to verbal and physical prompts, but the sedation will keep you from feeling any physical discomfort.


You will be brought back to a holding area once the procedure is complete. Due to the sedation, you may feel a little sleepy. Once your transportation arrives, you will be able to go home. You must arrange for someone to pick you up from the Endoscopy Suite since we cannot allow you to leave unless we are sure you can get home safely.

How to Prepare for a GI Procedure

When you schedule your endoscopic procedure, your physician will give you very specific pre-procedural instructions. It is important that you follow the instructions carefully. The instructions are designed to keep you safe while ensuring the best possible outcome. 

Make sure to let your endoscopist know what medications you are currently taking. Patients who take blood thinners like Plavix or Coumadin may be asked to temporarily stop or switch their medication. Special instructions will also be given to patients who are diabetic. 

You will be asked not to eat or drink anything after 12 midnight on the day of your procedure. This means no food, gum, or any liquids on the day of your examination. If your endoscopist gives you clearance to take your daily medications, make sure to take them with only a small sip of water. 

Due to the sedation, you will not be able to drive yourself home after the procedure. You must arrange for someone to pick you up from the Endoscopy Suite since we cannot allow you to leave unless we are sure you can get home safely. 

If you become jaundiced, develop a fever, feel increased pain in your abdomen, or experience a sudden change in your overall well-being, call your endoscopist immediately. These symptoms may indicate your condition has worsened and you may need more urgent intervention. 

What to Expect After a GI Procedure

Immediately after an endoscopic procedure, it is normal to feel sleepy and drowsy due to the sedation. This will go away after a few hours. You may also experience some mild discomfort in your abdomen and find yourself passing a lot of gas. This is due to the air that is placed in your belly during the procedure to enable your endoscopist to view your abdominal organs. You should feel back to normal the day after your procedure. If, however, you experience increased pain or your discomfort does not lessen within a day, please call your endoscopist. 

If biopsies were taken during your endoscopic procedure, the results will be ready in five days. You are encouraged to call your endoscopist at that time to learn your results. Your endoscopist will send a copy of the findings and report to your referring physician so further treatment decisions can be made. 

Every Thursday morning, the Pancreas Center multidisciplinary team of experts meets to discuss the plan of care for each of our current patients. After undergoing an endoscopic procedure, your case will be presented at this forum where surgeons, radiologists, gastroenterologists and oncologists will discuss the best course of action for your case. After the conference, your endoscopist will call you to let you know the outcome of the discussion and will refer you to another Pancreas Center specialist for further treatment, as needed. 

For more information, call us at (212) 305-9467 or reach us through our online form.