How to Prepare for Upper Endoscopy (EGD) in NJ

Before Your Upper Endoscopy

Preparing for an EGD is not as difficult or time-consuming as preparing for other gastrointestinal procedures, like a colonoscopy. It takes very little preparation, but there are some steps you need to take the day before the procedure. This is so the sedation will go smoothly and the doctor has a clean and empty intestinal tract to examine. There are certain steps you will need to follow the day of your procedure, but considerations should also be taken in the days leading up to the procedure, including:

  • DO NOT have any solid food or dairy products after midnight the night before your procedure.
  • Stop the following blood thinners, if, and only if, the Prescribing Physician approves for the number of days s/he allows: Plavix, Clopidogrel, Effient, Brillinta, Coumadin, Warfarin, Pradaxa, Xarelto, and Eliquis.
    • Please ask your doctor. These medications are usually stopped several days before your procedure.
  • Prior to procedure, breastfeeding mothers must pump enough milk for 24 hours worth of feedings to have for after the procedure. They must also pump and dump for 24 hours after the procedure. Patients of child-bearing age should not empty their bladder until they have given a urine sample upon arrival. 
  • Please bring your insurance card, photo ID, and current medication list with you to your procedure.

The Day of Your EGD Procedure

In addition to the specific instructions given to you by your doctor to prepare for your endoscopy, please follow the guidelines below for any upper endoscopy procedure.

EGD Prep – Food and Medical Considerations

You may have clear liquids until 4 HOURS before your procedure. These include:

  • Gatorade, Powerade (Sports drinks with electrolytes are recommended to help with hydration)
  • Water, tea, or coffee (NO CREAM OR MILK, sugar is ok)
  • Clear broth or bouillon
  • Jell-O, popsicles, Italian ice (no fruit or cream added)
  • Apple juice, white grape juice, or white cranberry juice, lemonade, ice tea (no juice with pulp)
  • Soda such as Sprite, 7-UP, ginger ale, or any cola
  • Clear hard candy, gum


  • Avoid all RED liquids, no alcohol 
    • Do not consume any fluids with red dye or dairy before your EGD procedure
  • Do not consume anything by mouth within the 4 hours prior to your procedure, including water, gum, candy, or mints.
  • You should take your vital medications, including heart, blood pressure, thyroid, and seizure medications as directed up until 4 hours before your start time with a small sip of water. Do not take vitamins/supplements the morning of your procedure. It is okay to continue Anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve, and Tylenol.
  • If you are diabetic, hold (do not take) your oral diabetic medication the morning of the endoscopy. Take ½ of the insulin dose prior to the procedure. Use sugar free drinks for liquids during the prep to avoid increase in blood sugar. Monitor and control your blood sugar closely during your prep to prevent low and high blood sugar. Note: your procedure may need to be cancelled if your blood sugar is over 300mg/dl on arrival.

Additional Considerations Before an EGD

  • If you are a smoker, it is advised that you do not smoke at least 6 hours before the procedure.
  • If you have asthma, use your inhaler as directed and bring it with you.
  • Please make sure you have arranged ahead of time for a responsible adult (age 18 or over) to drive you home after the procedure.
  • You should wear loose, comfortable clothing, such as a sweatsuit. Leave all jewelry and valuables at home, including belly rings & tongue piercings. Contact lenses should not be worn. You should not wear any clothing with metal, including jeans, zippers, or underwire bras (sports bras only should be worn).

After Your Upper Endoscopy

During your procedure, you will be sedated. This may cause some side effects once you get home, such as bloating and gas, cramping, and a sore throat. These will improve with time, however, if you’re concerned or uncomfortable, call your doctor. Depending on your individual situation, our physician may give you additional instructions for after your procedure.

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Learn More About EGD Procedures from Digestive Healthcare Center in New Jersey

At Digestive Healthcare Center, we want every patient to feel confident in their care and informed about all steps being taken for their health. We encourage you to ask any questions you have before your procedure, so you feel as informed and prepared as possible. If you have any further questions, concerns, or would like to learn more about the Upper GI Endoscopy procedure, please contact us today.

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