Upper Endoscopy

What is upper endoscopy or EGD?

Upper endoscopy lets our physician examine the lining of the upper part of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (first portion of the small intestine).  Our physician will use a thin flexible tube called an endoscope, which has its own lens and light source, and will view the images on a video monitor.  This procedure helps our physician evaluate symptoms of persistent upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or difficulty swallowing.  It’s the best test for finding the cause of bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract.  Its also more accurate than x-ray films for detecting inflammation, ulcers and tumors of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.

What happens during upper endoscopy?

The anesthesiologist will give you a sedative and you will lie on your side.  Our physician will pass the endoscope through your mouth and into the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.  The scope doesn’t interfere with your breathing.  A biopsy may be taken as it helps our physician distinguish between benign and malignant (cancerous) tissues.  Remember, biopsies are taken for many reasons.  They can be taken even if cancer is not suspected.  For example, a biopsy can be taken to test for helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that causes ulcers.

What happens after upper endoscopy?

Your throat might be a little sore, and you might feel bloated because of the air introduced into your stomach during the procedure.  You will be able to eat after your procedure, unless our physician instructs you otherwise.  Our physician generally can tell you your test results on the day of the procedure, unless a biopsy was taken, and that test will take several days.  Because you will be given a sedative, you wont be allowed to drive after the procedure.  You will need to arrange for someone to accompany you to drive you home.  Sedatives might affect your judgement and reflexes for the rest of the day.

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