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How Long Does an Endoscopy Take, Start to Finish?

An endoscopy allows the doctor to look inside the body at internal structures and organs without making an incision. Your doctor may prescribe an endoscopy for a variety of reasons, most of which fall into three categories: diagnosis of symptoms, monitoring of existing diseases, or disease therapy.

Although endoscopy is an invasive procedure, it is typically done on an outpatient basis. This allows you to be in and out the same day with no hospital stay. How long does an endoscopy procedure take?

What Is an Upper Endoscopy?

Endoscopy is a broad term usually attached to a word that tells you more about the procedure. For example, upper endoscopy allows a specialist to see the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract. That would include the following:

  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Duodenum or upper portion of the small intestine

The goal is to look for anomalies such as a mass or a hole. In some cases, the doctor can treat the condition or do a biopsy at the same time using the endoscope. The upper GI endoscopy is one of the most commonly performed procedures done in the U.S.

What is the Endoscopy Procedure?

There are different endoscopy procedures, but they are similar. Each uses a form of endoscopy, which is a thin tube with a powerful light and camera on the tip. The camera allows the doctor to see images on a screen and even videotape the test.

The tube goes into the patient's body at some point. For instance, an upper GI requires the insertion of the endoscope in the throat. For a colonoscopy, the doctor uses a different type of endoscope that goes into the rectum, allowing them to see the colon.

On average, the procedure will take from 20 to 30 minutes, and the patient is under sedation during this time.

Endoscopy Procedure at Prime Surgical Suites

Often endoscopy procedures are done in surgical centers like Prime Surgical Suites. Prime offers a state-of-the-art facility that is built for patient comfort. Everything from the ventilation to the lighting is designed with the patient in mind. Even our lobby is an inviting place for you and your family members to relax.

Each patient has their own room at Prime Surgical Suites, as well. There is seating available for family or friends to keep you company before and after your procedure.

Since it is an outpatient procedure, you leave after recovering from the anesthesia. For most people, there is minimal discomfort. You may feel a little groggy from the sedation. We offer some type of anesthesia for every procedure done at Prime Surgical Suites.

We also offer the top GI specialists in the region to perform the procedure. This ensures you get the best care available.

After Your Endoscopy

After the procedure, you stay with us for a couple of hours to allow the effects of the anesthesia to wear off. You should arrange for someone to be there to give you a ride home, as well. You will not be able to drive. Most people return to their regular activities the next day.

Prime Surgical Suites offers concierge-style patient care at our new luxurious facility. We now provide digestive health services that include both an upper endoscopy and a colonoscopy.


At Prime Surgical Suites, we provide state-of-the-art, cost-effective musculoskeletal surgical care in a convenient and comfortable outpatient setting for patients of all ages. Located in RiverCrest Medical Park, we are the region's first outpatient center focused exclusively on orthopedics. Our physician-led center will help restore your active lifestyle and well-being with compassion and orthopedic excellence.