What is an EGD?
Commonly called an upper endoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a procedure performed by your gastroenterologist to examine the lining of the upper part of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (first portion of the small intestine).
Your doctor will use a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope, which has its own lens and light source. Images will be projected on a video monitor. Photographs may be taken.
WHY IS AN EGD (UPPPER ENDOSCOPY) PERFORMED?
An upper GI endoscopy can be used to diagnose and treat certain problems in your upper GI tract.
It is often used to find the cause of unexplained symptoms such as:
- Trouble swallowing
- Unexplained weight loss
- Upper abdominal pain or chest pain
- Unexplained nausea and or vomiting
- Evaluate bleeding in the upper GI tract
An upper GI endoscopy can be used to identify disorders such as:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Narrowing (strictures) in the esophagus
- Redness and swelling or inflammation
- Tumors, either cancerous or not cancerous
- Celiac disease
- Stomach or small intestine ulcers
An upper endoscopy can be done to treat certain GI conditions
- EGD is effective at controlling GI bleeding from ulcers and other bleeding lesions. Cautery and or clips can be used to stop bleeding.
- Polyps and tumors may be biopsied and in many cases removed at the time of an EGD.
- Esophageal strictures and narrowed areas of the GI tract may be dilated or stretched at the time of an EGD.
How do I get ready for an EGD (upper endoscopy)?
You will be asked to have nothing to eat or drink for at least 8 hours prior to the procedure to ensure that your stomach will be empty.
Your doctor will review any medications that you are taking such as non steroidal antiflammatory drugs or blood thinners. In most cases these will be stopped a few days before the procedure to reduce the risk of bleeding.
Occasionally antibiotics will be given at the time of the endoscopy for certain conditions that increase the risk of infection (artificial heart valves, history of endocarditis, etc).
Will the Upper Endoscopy hurt?
No, the endoscopy will not hurt. You will be sedated and lying on your left side for the scope. The instrument will be passed gently through your mouth into your esophagus, stomach and duodenum. You will breathe on your own. Your vital signs will be closely monitored during the procedure which most often if over in 15-20 minutes.
What happens after the scope?
You will be monitored as you wake up after the procedure. You may have a sore throat for a few hours and you may feel bloated due to the air introduced during the procedure. These symptoms usually go way in a few hours. Your doctor will speak with you about the results after you are awake.
If biopsies have been performed, you will have to wait a few days for a final report.
You can’t drive or operate machinery for 24 hours after the procedure due to the sedation you receive. Someone will need to drive you home.
What are the complications of upper endoscopy?
Most patients have no complications whatsoever. Bleeding can occur at a biopsy site, but is usually minimal and only rarely requires intervention. Infections are extremely unusual. Complications from the sedatives and anesthetics used to sedate you can occur. These include breathing and cardiovascular problems. You will be closely monitored for these problems and they will be dealt with immediately if they occur. Perforations or tears in the GI tract are unusual. An upper endoscopy is one of the safest GI procedures performed, but sometimes these complications occur. Often they can be treated at the time of the procedure. Some patients require admission to the hospital and further procedures to treat the complications. It is important to tell your doctor if you develop fever, abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing, or chest pain after your scope.
Disclaimer: The information presented on this website is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Discuss this information with your healthcare provider to determine what is right for you. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical condition.
This website is owned and managed by Brian Cooley, MD. Any information, offers or instruction as written, inferred or implied is the sole responsibility of Brian Cooley, MD and does not warrant claim or representation, inherent, or implied of DHAT, its subsidiaries or employees.