Upper Endoscopy

What is Upper Endoscopy?

ESOPHAGOGASTRODUODENOSCOPY (EGD) – is an examination of the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and upper duodenum with a small flexible endoscope which is inserted down the throat.

Why is Upper Endoscopy Done?

You will not be allowed to eat or drink anything 4-8 hours before the test. You will have sedation for the procedure so you will need someone to drive you home. When you arrive in Special Procedures you will have an IV started, a health history taken and be connected to an EKG monitor. After that you will be taken to a procedure room. Just prior to the procedure you will be positioned on your left side and a mouth guard will be placed in your mouth to keep your mouth open and to protect the scope from your teeth. The procedure takes 10-15 minutes to complete. During the procedure tissue samples may be taken. If you are having difficulty swallowing your esophagus can be dilated with a balloon or a special dilator called a bougie. This will be done during the procedure so you will not be aware that we are doing this. You should have no discomfort during the procedure.

How Should I Prepare for the Procedure?

An empty stomach allows for the best and safest examination, so you should have nothing to eat or drink, including water, after midnight the night before the procedure. Tell your doctor in advance about any medications you take; you might need to adjust your usual dose for the examination. If you have any questions about anything you do not understand, please ask your doctor.

What Will Happen During the Procedure?

  1. You will be brought to the endoscopy room on a stretcher.
  2. You will be connected to equipment to monitor your blood pressure, pulse and the amount of oxygen in your blood. This will be checked throughout the procedure.
  3. If you are going to receive sedation, an IV will be inserted in your hand or arm.
  4. You will be lying on your left side.
  5. Sedation medication will be given through your IV to help you relax.
  6. When you are relaxed, the doctor will insert the endoscope into your mouth and over the back of your tongue. You will be asked to swallow.
  7. A small plastic block will be placed between your teeth to protect them.
  8. This procedure will not interfere with your breathing. In fact, it is helpful during the procedure to concentrate on taking slow deep breaths. This will help to reduce your tendency to gag.
  9. Since air is used to help examine the lining of your esophagus, stomach and intestine, you may feel full or bloated.
  10. A biopsy (small piece of tissue) may be taken. You will not feel this biopsy.
  11. The length of time for this procedure may vary, but the average is about 10 to 20 minutes.

What if I Need Esophageal Dilation?

Dilation is when the esophageal is stretched in the narrow area.

  1. Your doctor will discuss this with you prior to your procedure. If this is a possibility, you will be asked to sign a consent form that includes this.
  2. Dilation is done by passing tubes of graduated sizes through the esophagus, or in some cases through the scope.
  3. This procedure may be done using X-ray guidance. You may see two large pieces of X-ray equipment in the area which are used for this purpose.

What Happens After the Procedure?

After the procedure you will be taken to the recovery area and once you are awake, stable, and taking fluids well you will be allowed to go home with a responsible person. At home you can resume a normal diet and will rest the remainder of the day. You may have a sore throat, some abdominal cramping and be drowsy. You will resume normal activities the following day.