(EGD) Upper Endoscopy

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What is an upper endoscopy?

Also known as esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), an upper endoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to evaluate the lining of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (the first portion of the small intestine). An upper endoscopy is performed to identify and treat problems affecting these areas. Compared to X-rays, an upper endoscopy is more precise for identifying ulcers, inflammation or early cancer. If a tumor or infection is identified, biopsies can be easily taken. Upper endoscopy can also be used for dilatation of the esophagus or placement of a BRAVO capsule to evaluate heartburn symptoms.

How do I prepare for an upper endoscopy?

To ensure your stomach is empty for the procedure, your doctor may ask you not to drink or eat eight hours before the exam. Because blood thinners increase the risk of bleeding, your doctor may ask you to stop taking these types of medications days before the procedure. Please inform you doctor of any medications, including supplements you are taking before the exam.

What happens during an upper endoscopy?

When you arrive for the procedure, the nurse will place an IV in a vein in your arm or hand. Medications will be administered through your IV to help you relax. You’ll begin the procedure lying comfortably on your left side. Your doctor will pass a small tube (endoscope) through your mouth and carefully guide it through the esophagus. The esophagus, stomach and duodenum will be examined for 5 to 10 minutes. Throughout the exam, you’ll be so relaxed that you’ll feel no discomfort.

What happens after an upper endoscopy?

We will monitor you less than 30 minutes until the sedative wears off. You may feel some bloating and your throat may be sore. Please make arrangements to have someone drive you home. Your doctor will provide instructions and the results of the exam in writing.

Are there any possible complications?

When an upper endoscopy is performed by one of our board certified gastroenterologists, it is safe, and complications rarely occur. Minimal bleeding may occur at the biopsy site or the area where a polyp was removed. If you experience fever, and severe pain or bleeding, please call our office.