What is an Upper Endoscopy?
An EGD may be performed to diagnose the cause of gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, peptic ulcers, acid reflux/GERD, difficulty swallowing, bleeding, or abnormal x-ray results.
An EGD (or an upper endoscopy) is an endoscopic procedure where a long, thin, flexible tube or “scope” is placed into the mouth and advanced to the duodenum (the beginning of the small intestine). The scope has a light and a camera on the end of it which allows the physician to examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and first portion of the small intestine.
An EGD may also be performed on a patient with chronic heartburn symptoms to screen for changes that are associated with esophageal cancer.
You May Need An Upper Endoscopy If:
You are experiencing symptoms including:
- Pain when swallowing, or difficulty swallowing
- Severe or on-going heartburn
- Vomiting, especially vomiting blood
- Irregular stools, or stool which is black or bloody
- Pain in the abdomen
- On-going vomiting or severe nausea
- Unexplained weight loss
Or, if your physician needs to confirm diagnosis for one of the following conditions:
- Peptic Ulcers
- Crohn’s Disease
- Vascular (vein) issues in the esophagus
What Should I Expect?
You will receive instructions from your doctor regarding the necessary preparation to get you ready for your exam. Most patients will be on clear liquids the entire day before the exam. It is very important to follow the instructions given to you by your doctor. There will also be additional instructions regarding your medications. On the day of your procedure, DO NOT eat or drink anything, including water or clear liquids. The doctor will perform your EGD using anesthesia unless the doctor states otherwise. After the procedure, you will need a guardian to drive you home. You are able to eat soft foods and will need the day to rest.