esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)

overview

Also called an upper GI endoscopy, an EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) is a test that allows your doctor to see inside the upper digestive system. EGDs are done at a clinic, outpatient surgical center or hospital. During the procedure, your doctor inserts an endoscope (a flexible tube equipped with a light and tiny camera) down your throat to see inside the esophagus, stomach and small intestine to check for ulcers. 

Your doctor may take tissue samples (biopsy) or perform treatments during EGD. EGD can also be used to stop bleeding, remove tumors and polyps, fix narrowed areas and remove foreign objects. Sometimes an EGD is combined with an ultrasound. An ultrasound device is attached to the tube to use sound waves to make pictures of areas that are hard to see with the endoscope alone.

what to expect

Before your EGD procedure, you may be asked not to eat or to drink only clear liquids. You might also need to avoid certain medications. If your doctor thinks it’s necessary, you may need to clean out your colon like you would do for a colonoscopy.

You’ll be sedated with medication given through a needle in your arm (intravenously, or IV). Any discomfort will be minor. Your doctor may numb your throat with a spray before placing the endoscope (tube) in your mouth. Sometimes, the endoscope needs to be inserted through the rectum. As the endoscope goes through your digestive system, your doctor looks at the images on different computer screens.

recovery

The procedure takes around 30 minutes. You are monitored for an hour or two afterward. Then you can be released from the hospital, and you’ll need someone to drive you home. You might notice a sore throat or abdominal bloating for a day or two.

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