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Endoscopy Unit - What to Expect

Once the physician’s office has scheduled your procedure, you will receive a call from Sibley Memorial Hospital Admissions department for pre-registration. If you have not heard from the Admissions department by the day before your procedure, please call 202-537-4190 where someone will assist you. Pre-registering will help expedite your admission process.

When to arrive

On the day of your procedure, please plan to arrive 1 hour prior to your procedure. This will allow time to complete the admission process. If you have pre-registered, you may proceed directly to the Endoscopy Suite where you will be admitted. The admission process includes:

  • Complete the necessary form:
  • Provide the name and phone number of the adult accompanying you on your ride home† if you are to receive sedation for the procedure. If you are having trouble finding a ride home, please call Sibley Hospital Endoscopy unit at 202-537-4025 or your physician’s office to obtain a list of approved escort services.

What to Bring

You will need to provide photo identification and insurance card at the time of admission. You will also need to provide your nurse with a medical history and a list of medications you are taking. A Medical History Form and Patient Medication List form are provided on this web page and can be printed. Please fill out the forms ahead of time and bring them with you the day of your procedure as this will speed up the admission process.

What to Wear

You may want to wear clothes that are loose fitting so that it is easier to change into a hospital gown and robe. A locker will be provided so you may store any personal items, but please remember to leave all your valuables at home. If you wear a hearing aid and/or need glasses to read, please bring them with you as you will need them to assist you in the admission process.


After you have changed and the nurse admitting you has completed the necessary paper work, a nurse will start an IV for hydration and for administration of the sedatives, if necessary. The procedure will not begin until the the entire team, consisting of the physician, nurse, technician and anesthesiologist are present in the procedure room and all your questions are answered.


Upon entering the endoscopy room, you will see various equipment and monitors. You will be assisted onto a stretcher. EKG patches will be placed on your chest for monitoring of your heart functions. A blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm. It will tighten every five minutes, automatically measuring your blood pressure. The first time the blood pressure cuff will be tighter as it is taking an initial pressure reading. Also, a small clip will be placed on your finger, which will read your blood oxygen level. Prior to sedation, you will have a chance to speak to your doctor. Please feel free to ask the nurse or physician any questions before the procedure as it is difficult to remember what has been said once sedation is started.


After the procedure, if you were sedated, you will be wheeled to the recovery room on a stretcher. There a nurse will monitor your vital signs for approximately 45 minutes or until you feel awake enough to be discharged and return home.

In recovery, when you are feeling more alert, the IV fluids will be discontinued and you will be given juice and crackers before getting dressed. You may also use the bathroom at this time.


Prior to being discharged, a nurse will provide you with written discharge instructions which includes information about what medications can be resumed and when, or if any new medications have been prescribed. You will then be given opportunity to ask any lingering questions you may have or request further information. Once everything is understood, you then will be escorted to the car of your ride home†.

If a question or a problem arises once you return home, please contact your physician promptly.

Definition of a ride home is a responsible adult accompanying you home in a cab or car. You may not leave by cab, bus, subway or walk home alone. If you need to use a form of the above mentioned transportation, please make arrangements to have a responsible adult escort you home. Your procedure will be CANCELLED if you have not made the proper arrangements for a ride home, or you may opt to have the procedure done without sedation.

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