Skip to content

Your doctor has suggested your child have an endoscopy as part of the evaluation at National Jewish Health. An endoscopy allows the doctor to look inside the esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach and upper small intestine. These are the upper portions of the digestive system. Your child's doctor will use a small flexible tube, starting at the mouth, to see inside the body. Your child's doctor will likely do a biopsy during the endoscopy. During a biopsy a small amount of tissue is taken from the lining of the digestive system. The tissue can be studied closely to help determine your child's diagnosis and the best treatment for your child.


How do you get ready for the test?

Please follow these instructions closely. If this is not done, we will need to reschedule the test.

Planning ahead:

  • Inform your child's doctor of all the medicines your child takes. Certain medicines may need to be held before the test.
    • Do not give your child aspirin or aspirin containing products for 14 days (2 weeks) before the endoscopy. These include: Advil, Aleve and Aspirin and Ibuprofen. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
  • Your child will be tired and his/her coordination may be impaired after the endoscopy. Plan to stay with your child and watch your child closely for the rest of the day.
  • You may want to purchase some clear liquids ahead of time. Clear liquids include water, Gatorade (sport drinks), Pedialyte, clear apple juice, soda or clear tea. Orange juice is not a clear liquid.

The day of the test:

  • Your child should not eat food or drink anything before the endoscopy. Follow these guidelines closely before the endoscopy.
    • No solid foods for at least 8 hours before the endoscopy. Your child can still have clear liquids until 2 hours before the endoscopy. Clear liquids include water, Gatorade (sport drinks), Pedialyte, clear apple juice, soda or clear tea. Orange juice is not a clear liquid.
    • No gum, candy, mints or Tic-Tacs for at least 6 hours before the endoscopy.
    • No breast milk for at least 4 hours before the procedure.
    • No clear liquids for at least 2 hours before the procedure. At this point, your child should not eat or drink anything until after the endoscopy.
  • Do take routine medicine before leaving for the test with a few sips of water as long as it is more than 2 hours before the test. Do not take the medicines your doctor has asked you to hold.
  • Do bring your child's routine medicine with you.
  • Check in at the Front Desk in Pediatrics at the time your test is scheduled.


What is done during the test?

When you arrive with your child the nurse will explain what will be done before, during and after the endoscopy. If you or your child has any questions, please ask. The nurse will start an IV. The IV will be used to give medicine to make your child sleepy and relaxed. Your child will be monitored closely during the test.

Your child will lie down during the endoscopy. A mouthpiece will help keep your child's mouth open. Once the endoscopy is done your child will rest. Your child will be sleepy in the beginning. The doctor will determine when your child is able to go home.


What do you watch for after you go home?

Watch for these signs for the next 24 hours:

  • Temperature over 101 degrees
  • Severe or unusual stomach pain or discomfort
  • Vomiting more than 1 tsp. (5 ml.) of bright red blood or fluid looking like coffee grounds
  • Passing more than 1 tsp. (5 ml.) of bright red blood from the rectum
  • IV site that is red and swollen (slight soreness is normal)

If you notice any of these signs call the The Children's Hospital GI office at 720-777-6669. If you call during business hours choose option 5, then option 3 to speak with an Office Staff Assistant. If you call after business hours, the Answering Service will ask you questions and page the GI Doctor On-Call.


How can you increase your child's diet and activity after you go home?


  • Your child's coordination may be impaired for the rest of the day after the endoscopy. Plan to stay with your child and watch him/her closely for the rest of the day. Supervise all activities, including trips to the bathroom and bathing. Do not allow your child to participate in activities that require coordination, such as bicycle riding, skateboarding, swimming or handling sharp objects.
  • Place your child on her/his side to sleep after the endoscopy. This position is helpful if your child should vomit.
  • Your child may have air in his/her stomach after the endoscopy. This may cause stomach discomfort. Walking will help this. Rocking infants and young children may also help.


  • Your child may not feel like eating after the procedure. Most children don't vomit after the procedure. Give your child clear liquids when you get home. This is important to prevent dehydration. If your child tolerates clear liquids, you can give him/her ice cream, milk and soup. Then gradually try foods to return your child to his/her normal diet.
  • If your child has a sore throat, popsicles or cold drinks may be helpful. Avoid hard candy or throat lozenges. Since your child was sedated this may cause him/her to choke more easily.


How long will the test take?

Plan on being at National Jewish Health for at least 3 to 4 hours, although sometimes the stay is longer.


How do you get to your test?

On the day of your scheduled test, check in at the Front Desk in Pediatrics. If you have questions please call 303-398-1355. Also, if you need to cancel the appointment or change the time, please call.


This information has been approved by Glen Furuta, MD (September, 2009).