• Adverse reaction or problems related to anesthesia, sedation or medications, such as an allergic reaction and problems with breathing.
  • Bleeding
  • Difficulty swallowing and sore throat
  • Esophageal perforation or tear
  • Fever
  • Infection
  • Injury to your teeth, jaw joint, lips, or throat
  • Pain
  • Subcutaneous surgical emphysema, which is air trapped under the skin.

Reducing your risk of complications

You can reduce the risk of certain complications by:

  • Following activity, dietary and lifestyle restrictions and recommendations before your procedure and during recovery
  • Notifying your doctor immediately of any concerns, such as bleeding, fever, or increase in pain
  • Taking your medications exactly as directed
  • Telling all members of your care team if you have any allergies

How do I prepare for my esophagoscopy?

If you dread the thought of undergoing an esophagoscopy procedure, you are not alone. You are an important member of your own healthcare team. The steps you take before your procedure can improve your comfort and outcome. You can prepare for an esophagoscopy by:

  • Answering all questions about your medical history and medications you take. This includes prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, herbal treatments, and vitamins. It is a good idea to carry a current list of your medical conditions, medications, and allergies at all times.
  • Completely following all your doctor’s specific instructions. This generally includes not eating or drinking anything from four to eight hours before the procedure. You may also need to take a medication before the procedure to dry your mouth and air passages.
  • If you wear dentures, you will need to remove them for the procedure. It is a good idea to leave them with a family member or at home if possible.
  • Taking or stopping medications exactly as directed. For an esophagoscopy, this may include not taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and blood thinners. You doctor will give you instructions for taking or discontinuing your specific medications and supplements.

Questions to ask your doctor

Preparing for an esophagoscopy can be stressful. It is common for patients to forget some of their questions during a doctor’s office visit. You may also think of other questions after your appointment. Contact your doctor with concerns and questions before the procedure and between appointments.

It is also a good idea to bring a list of questions to your appointment. Common questions include:

  • Why do I need an esophagoscopy? Are there any other options for diagnosing or treating my condition?
  • How long will the procedure take? When can I go home?
  • What kind of restrictions will I have after the procedure and when can I expect to return to work and other activities?
  • What kind of assistance will I need at home? Will I need a ride home?
  • What medication plan should I follow before and after the procedure?
  • How will you manage my pain?
  • When should I follow up with you?
  • How should I contact you? Ask for numbers to call during and after regular hours.
  • When will I receive the results of my test?

What can I expect after my esophagoscopy?

Knowing what to expect after an esophagoscopy can help you get back to your everyday life as soon as possible.

How will I feel after the esophagoscopy?

You may have a sore throat, bloating, gas, and cramping after the procedure. These symptoms should be mild and brief. Call your doctor if they are not improving rapidly or are getting worse, because this can be a sign of a complication. You might also feel a little drowsy for about 24 hours from the anesthesia or sedative.

When can I go home?

You will need to stay in the doctor’s office, surgical outpatient facility, or hospital for a short period of time after your esophagoscopy. The length of time varies depending on your age, general health, and the specific type of procedure and anesthesia used.

If you are sedated, your doctor will discharge you home when you are alert, breathing effectively, and your vital signs are stable. This generally takes an hour or two, depending on the type of sedation. You will not be able to drive for about 24 hours after sedation. You will need a ride home from your procedure. Someone should stay with you for a day or so because you may still be a bit drowsy.