Upper GI endoscopy or EGD

An upper GI endoscopy (EGD) is a procedure that allows the doctor to look at the interior lining of your esophagus, your stomach, and the first part of your small intestine (duodenum) through a thin, flexible viewing instrument called an endoscope.

The tip of the endoscope is inserted through your mouth and then gently advanced down your throat into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (upper gastrointestinal tract). Through the endoscope, our doctor can look for ulcers, inflammation, tumors, infection, or bleeding. Tissue samples can be collected (biopsy), polyps can be removed, and bleeding can be treated through the endoscope. Endoscopy can reveal problems that do not show up on X-ray tests, and it can sometimes eliminate the need for exploratory surgery.

Your throat may be numbed with an anesthetic spray, gargle, or lozenge to relax your gag reflex and make it easier to insert the endoscope into your throat. Shortly before the procedure begins, an intravenous (IV) line is placed in a vein in your arm. You will receive an injection of medication to relax you and to reduce discomfort, and sometimes you may be given a medication to decrease your gastrointestinal secretions. A pain medication and sedative will be given to you through the IV in your arm during the procedure. You should feel relaxed and drowsy but still alert enough to cooperate.

Our doctor will slowly advance the endoscope while looking through an eyepiece or watching on a video monitor to examine the walls of your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. A camera attached to the endoscope takes pictures for viewing on the monitor and stores some pictures for later study. To make it easier for your doctor to see different parts of your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, you may be repositioned or have gentle pressure applied to your abdomen. When the examination is completed, the endoscope is slowly withdrawn.

The entire process usually takes about 30 minutes, although the endoscopy portion may only take 5 to 10 minutes. Afterward you will stay in a recovery area so you can be observed for an hour or two. If your throat was numbed before the test, you should not eat or drink until your throat is no longer numb and your gag reflex has returned to normal. This usually takes about 1 to 2 hours. You can then resume your normal diet and activities. Have someone drive you home unless otherwise instructed.

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