Upper Endoscopy (EGD)

Upper endoscopy allows your physician to look inside your esophagus, stomach, and the upper small intestine (duodenum). The procedure allows your physician to diagnose the cause of a variety of symptoms, including: swallowing difficulties, nausea, vomiting, frequent heartburn, bleeding, reflux, abdominal pain, or chest pain. Upper endoscopy is also called EGD, which stands for esophagogastroduodenoscopy.

During the procedure you will swallow a thin, flexible, lighted tube called an endoscope. Right before the procedure your physician will spray your throat with a numbing agent that may help prevent gagging. You may also receive pain medicine and a sedative to help you relax during the exam. The endoscope transmits an image allowing the doctor to examine the of the inside of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. The scope also blows air into the stomach; this expands the folds of tissue and makes it easier for the physician to examine the stomach.

The physician will be able to detect abnormalities, such as inflammation, ulcerations, and bleeding, through the endoscope that don´t show up well on x rays. During the procedure, tissue can also be removed if your physician feels that a biopsy is warranted.

Complications are rare, but can include bleeding and puncture of the stomach lining. The most common complaint is a mild sore throat after the procedure.

The procedure takes 15 to 30 minutes. Because you will be sedated, you will be discharged after a recovery period.