Health Library

Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

giGI endoscopy (commonly called a “scope”) is a special test that lets the doctor look at the lining of your child’s GI tract. An endoscope (in-doe-scope) is a long, thin, hollow tube with a special camera and light at the end. The doctor uses this camera to look at the GI tract. The parts of the GI tract your doctor can look at with the scope are the:  

  • Mouth
  • Esophagus (e-sof-a gus)
  • Stomach
  • Small intestine (in-test-in)
  • Large intestine

Sometimes the doctor needs only to look at the upper part of the GI tract (esophagus, stomach and top of the small intestine). Sometimes the doctor may need only to look at the lower part of the GI tract (large intestine and lower part of the small intestine). Other times the doctor will need to look at both the upper and lower GI tract. 

Location of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Test

Main Hospital (3333 Burnet Ave., Cincinnati)

  • Location B Third floor, Same Day Surgery

Liberty Campus (7777 Yankee Road, Liberty Township)

  • Second floor, Same Day Surgery

Hospital Stay

Your child’s total time at the hospital is about four hours. This includes the time before the scope and the time needed for your child to wake up after the scope.

For scopes being done at the Burnet Campus:

  • Arrive 90 minutes before the start of the scope.

For scopes being done at the Liberty Campus:

  • Arrive 60 minutes before the start of the scope.

Guided Tours

If your child would like to schedule a tour of Same Day Surgery, Operating Room and Recovery Room, call 513-636-8298 to schedule a guided tour.

Associated Risks

Endoscopy is a safe procedure. Few children have unexpected or serious complications.

After the scope, most children might have:

  • Mild sore throat
  • Minor abdominal pain, because they need to pass gas


The risks of the scope include:

  • Bleeding from the biopsy sites
  • A perforation, or hole, in the intestine
  • The use of anesthesia
  • Infection
  • Injury to a nearby body part

The risk of a complication is very small. Your healthcare team will review these risks in more detail during your clinic visit. You will also spend time with your child’s anesthesia team in Same Day Surgery the day of the test.

Call our office at 513-636-4415 if your child has severe pain, fever of 100.5 or greater or if you have any questions / concerns after the scope.

Before the Endoscopy

  • Must not use Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil or Aleve products for 2 weeks before the scope
  • Must remove all jewelry and body piercings
  • Must remove all nail polish
  • If your child wears contacts, remove the contact lenses (but be sure to bring your child’s glasses)
  • Must have a physical exam done within 30 days of the scope
  • If your child needs pain medication before the scope, Tylenol (Acetaminophen) may be used.
  • Check with your nurse if your child takes routine medications every day.
  • Inhalers for asthma should be given at the usual time.

Call Your Child's Doctor If:

  • Your child has a fever of 100.5 or greater, cough or is ill within seven days of the scope
  • Your child has been exposed to a communicable disease (such as chicken pox) before the scope

Diet Instructions and Examples

For children under 1 year of age:

  • STOP all formula, milk, and foods 5 hours before scheduled arrival time at hospital. 
  • Children may have a non-red clear liquid diet until 3 hours before scheduled arrival time at hospital (no thickeners or additives).
  • STOP all breast milk and clear liquids 3 hours before scheduled arrival time at hospital.  

For children 1 year of age and older:

  • STOP all milk, solid foods, candy and gum 7 hours before scheduled arrival time at hospital.
  • Children may have a non-red clear liquid diet until 3 hours before scheduled arrival time at hospital (no thickeners or additives).
  • STOP all clear liquids 3 hours before scheduled arrival time at hospital.  

Examples of clear liquids:  (Clear liquids must NOT BE RED in color)

  • Water
  • Apple juice and other pulp-free juices
  • Glucose water
  • Soft drinks (colas)
  • Breast milk
  • Popsicles
  • Pedialyte
  • Jell-O
  • Gatorade
  • Kool-Aid
  • FAT FREE chicken broth

Reminders:

  • Be aware that orange juice is not a clear liquid.
  • Be sure to watch your child brush their teeth so they do not not swallow any water while brushing.

Last Updated 06/2018

Contact Us.
Use our online contact form. Or, for more information about the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition call 513-636-4415. More Information