Upper Endoscopy - EGD
An upper endoscopy allows the physician to examine the upper portion of your gastrointestinal tract.
This exam typically involves insertion of a flexible fiber optic tube(endoscope) through your mouth and into the esophagus whereby the doctor can visualize and evaluate the surface of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. If necessary biopsies can be taken through the endoscope, polyps can be removed, narrow areas can be stretched (dilatation) and if bleeding is identified appropriate steps can be taken to stop the bleeding. This is typically done after intravenous sedation is provided. The endoscopy does not interfere with your breathing. Most patients wake up unaware that they had the procedure
There are many reasons why your doctor may recommend an EGD
Some of the reasons may be (not all inclusive)
-vomiting blood or having black tarry bowel movements- suggestive of UGI bleeding
-anemia- low hemoglobin
-frequent or significant GERD
-abnormal X-rays, radiologic imaging
Most of the time procedures are done electively on an empty stomach, so you should have nothing to eat or drink for at least 6 hours. Discuss all the medications you are taking with your physician, as they may wish you to discontinue a drug. Make sure they are aware of any allergies to medications or medical conditions you have especially the use of blood thinners.
Upper endoscopy is a safe procedure and although complications occur these are rare.
Typically, these include a reaction to the sedation that could lead to respiratory problems, bleeding from biopsy or removal of polyps, perforation (tear in the intestinal wall) especially during dilatation or removal of a growth or complications from heart or lung conditions. We urge you to discuss your concerns with your doctor. Post procedure instructions will be reviewed and follow up phone calls are made to see how you are feeling the day after your test.
The preceding information is provided by DDC of NJ and is not a definitive basis for diagnosis and treatment in any individual case.