EGD (Esophogastroduoendoscopy) or Upper Endoscopy is a procedure in which your physician examines various parts of your upper gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine.
The procedure is performed using an endoscope, which is a thin, flexible tube equipped with a tiny camera that allows the physician to view any affected regions of your gastrointestinal tract and make a much more accurate diagnosis. The endoscope is slowly passed through the mouth into the esophagus, stomach and upper portion of the small intestine.
Why do I need an EGD/Upper Endoscopy?
If you have been experiencing symptoms like abdominal pain, heartburn, nausea or vomiting, difficulty swallowing, or acid reflux, then your physician may recommend undergoing an EGD procedure to test for gastrointestinal diseases or any other serious conditions.
What should I do before my EGD procedure?
You will need to have a completely empty stomach for the procedure. Your physician will request that you do not eat for 6 to 12 hours before the test. Additionally, if you take any blood-thinning medication, your physician may request that you stop use for 3-5 days before the test.
What happens during an EGD?
The procedure usually takes 30 to 45 minutes. Prior to the procedure, anesthesiology will give you medication through a vein to help you relax and better tolerate any discomfort from the procedure. The procedure will begin with you lying on your left side. The scope will be passed through your mouth into the throat, stomach and small intestine. If something abnormal is found, the physician may take a biopsy specimen or may use medication or heat treatment to stop any bleeding. Remember that biopsies are taken for many reasons and do not necessarily mean that cancer is suspected. The instrument used for the procedure will not interfere with your breathing.
What happens after an EGD?
Because air is introduced through the endoscope, you may feel some bloating during and after the procedure. You may resume your usual diet unless instructed otherwise by your physician. Your throat may also feel scratchy or sore after the procedure, but this should soon subside. Your physician will then explain your likelihood of complications based on the exam results. An EGD generally requires some anesthesia, which may make patients feel a bit woozy. Under these circumstances, patients are required to have a licensed driver take them back home. Taxis or other forms of hired transportation are not allowed.
Are there any risks of an EGD?
Serious complications from this procedure are uncommon. There is a small chance of a hole forming in the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus from the scope moving through these areas. There is also a small risk of bleeding at the biopsy site. Your physician will address any concerns you may have prior to the procedure.