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How Long Does It Take to Recover from an Endoscopy?

— November 21, 2022

Recovering from an endoscopy takes a relatively shorter time than most medical procedures.

Endoscopy is a procedure that lets doctors diagnose and treat gastrointestinal conditions like ulcers, gastritis, and blockages. It involves inserting a small thin tube known as an endoscope with a tiny camera and light into a patient’s digestive tract. From there, they can conduct in-depth examinations and even perform biopsies.

While endoscopy is a safe procedure, it can feel stressful for first-timers. On the other hand, patients who have undergone this procedure can attest to how secure it actually is. Learn how long recovering from one can take at a therapeutic endoscopy clinic such as and others like it, as well as other essential facts for a successful one in this article.

How To Prepare For Endoscopy

Before knowing how long it takes to recover from the procedure, you should first know how to prepare for it. Here are some of the useful tips you should follow when preparing for endoscopy:

  1. Consult Your Physician

Have a thorough discussion days before the procedure with your physician. Take it as an opportunity to ask questions. Ensure that your physician is updated on your medical history, from medical conditions to interactions with sedatives. You will also be advised to adjust your intake of certain medications before and after the procedure.

  1. Set Aside Time To Recover

You’ll need ample recovery time after an endoscopy. This is vital since you’ll likely be sedated to ensure you’re comfortable. You should have up to 24 hours of rest to let the sedatives wear off fully your system.

  1. Fast Before The Procedure

This makes it easier for the endoscope to examine your digestive tract. Ideally, you should stop eating for about six to eight hours before the procedure. 

  1. Wear Comfortable Clothes

The entire procedure often takes around 15 to 30 minutes. Laying down for this long tends to be intolerable even when under sedatives. Therefore, you should consider wearing comfortable clothes without buttons or stiff hems. You will also be required to put aside dentures, glasses, and jewelry.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From An Endoscopy?

Unlike most medical procedures, endoscopy has a short recovery period of no more than 48 hours. During and after the endoscopy, you will experience minimal discomfort. Some minor symptoms include bloating, nausea, sore throat, mild pain due to IV insertion, and grogginess from sedation. 

If your doctor suggests an endoscopy, you should consider going with someone who will drive you back home. This is vital since it takes time for the sedatives to wear off. Once at home, you should drink plenty of water and switch to soft or mashed foods while your throat remains sore.

What to Expect Post-Endoscopy

Black and white photo of man sleeping on sofa; image by Adi Goldstein, via
Black and white photo of man sleeping on sofa; image by Adi Goldstein, via

After the endoscopy, the patient will be taken to the recovery room, where they’ll lie or sit for one hour or more. While inside, your physician will keep watch over you as they monitor how the sedative is wearing off.

Once you’re in the safe zone, you can head home. You might experience some slight discomfort that will fade as time goes on. But if they persist, you should call your doctor. 

On day one after the procedure, you should consider resting throughout the day. Even if you already feel alert, your reaction time and judgment capabilities may still take time to fully recover.

Plan for a Comfortable Post-Endoscopy Recovery

It takes a relatively short period to recover from an endoscopy. However, planning can make the transition easier. Follow these tips:

  1. Always stick to your physician’s instructions.
  2. Drink plenty of water to aid in flushing out the sedatives from your system.
  3. Spend your day resting; however, you should take frequent walks if you experience bloating.
  4. Go with someone who can drive you back home after an endoscopy.
  5. Stick to liquids and soft foods during your recovery; consult your doctor if you need to follow dietary restrictions for any reason or have certain preferences.
  6. Pay attention to your body; if any discomfort continues after your recovery period, don’t hesitate to alert your doctor.
  7. If you’re maintaining a medication regimen, make sure you take into account your physician’s adjustments for the endoscopy to avoid potentially serious complications.


Recovering from an endoscopy takes a relatively shorter time than most medical procedures. This is because this procedure is quite routine and a safe way ideal for diagnosing gastrointestinal conditions. Hopefully, this guide has answered your questions about how long it’ll take to recover from an endoscopy. There’s no need to worry when you’re armed with the right information.

Editor’s note: This article is not intended to replace professional advice given by your healthcare provider.

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