The Endoscopy Unit is located in Victoria Hospital Zone B Level 2, Room B2-220.

800 Commissioners Rd E, London Parking Lot P8 (Garage 1), exit on Level 2

If you have questions about your procedure or cannot attend, contact your procedure doctor’s office immediately (519-685-8500 and ask switchboard to transfer you to your procedure doctor’s office).
Wait lists for this procedure are long and it is important to give at least 1 week notice to cancel or reschedule so that the space can be offered to another patient.

Important instructions for the day of the procedure:

  • Sedation is typically used for the procedure and when used you will not be allowed to go home alone. You must have an adult (family/friend or other) accompany you and be able to drive you home.
  • The driver must remain in the endoscopy waiting room during your procedure to ensure you can be discharged when ready
  • You may choose to not use sedation. A spray may be given to the back of the throat to make it feel numb. If sedation is not used, you may go home alone, although you may not be able to tolerate/complete the procedure
  • If you cannot find someone to accompany you, there are services that can provide a suitable driver for a reasonable cost. Contact your procedure doctor for more information
  • You must not drive, operate heavy equipment, or drink alcohol for 12 hours after the procedure
  • Bring your Health Card and a list of all medications
  • Wear loose-fitting comfortable clothing
  • Do not wear jewelry or perfumes/colognes

Your medications and health history

  • If you are taking any blood thinner other than aspirin, contact your procedure doctor immediately for instructions whether to stop it prior to the procedure. Examples include: clopidogrel (Plavix), ticlopidine (Ticlid), ticagrelor (Brilinta), warfarin (Coumadin), dabigatran (Pradaxa), apixaban (Eliquis), rivaroxaban (Xarelto)
  • If you are taking insulin or other medication for diabetes, contact your procedure doctor immediately to find out the dosages to be taken the day before and the day of your procedure
  • All medications other than those mentioned above should be taken with sips of water as usual including the day of the procedure

How to get ready


  • Do not eat any food starting at midnight before your procedure
  • Drink CLEAR fluids only until 2 hours prior to your arrival time (no milk or cream)

What is upper endoscopy?

An upper endoscopy is the insertion of a long flexible tube with a video camera, about the thickness of a finger, into the mouth and the upper digestive tract. The doctor can examine the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small bowel. It is used to check for the cause of symptoms such as heartburn, trouble swallowing, vomiting, bleeding and abdominal pain. 

The doctor can take a small piece of tissue (biopsy) for further examination.

What should you expect during and after the procedure?

You will be lying on your left side and have the option to receive medications intravenously to make you relaxed and sleepy. A spray may be given to the back of throat to make it feel numb. There may be some discomfort during upper endoscopy; however, the procedure is usually well-tolerated. Air is inflated into the stomach, so you will feel bloated and may burp during and after the procedure. You will be kept in the endoscopy unit until most of the effects of the medication have worn off. You can eat and drink normally (except for alcohol) after the procedure.

Are there any complications from endoscopy?

Upper endoscopy is generally a very safe procedure. However, complications can occur and may include:

  • Complications associated with sedation such as low blood pressure, low oxygen levels and pneumonia
  • Bleeding is usually minor and will stop on its own or with treatment though the scope. Uncommonly, a blood transfusion or surgery is required
  • Perforation (a hole or tear through the wall of the digestive tract) occurs in about 1 in 5000 procedures. This complication usually requires hospitalization as well as intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and surgery
  • Upper endoscopy is not a perfect test. On occasion, serious problems in the upper digestive tract are not seen or can be missed
  • Localized irritation of the vein may occur at the site of medication injection
  • Drug reactions and complications from unrelated diseases such as heart attack or stroke


There are no specific limitations. Your body is your best guide as to what you can do or feel like doing.


You must go home with either a friend or relative by private vehicle or by taxi, NOT by public transportation.

Before you leave the hospital, your nurse may schedule a return appointment with your surgeon to discuss the results of the procedure. If required, this will be in approximately 14 days following the endoscopy.

Following your endoscopy, call your surgeon if:

1. You have any excess:

  • bleeding
  • swelling of the face or neck
  • pain
  • shortness of breath.

2. You have a temperature of 38.50°C (101.5°F)

If you have problems or questions, contact the office of your procedure doctor through the hospital switchboard at 519-685-8500