An upper endoscopy or EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) is an examination of the esophagus, stomach, and first portion of the small intestine (duodenum) which is performed with a flexible instrument called an endoscope. Upper endoscopy is used to diagnose a number of conditions of the upper gastrointestinal tract including acid reflux, Barrett’s esophagus, hiatal hernia, peptic ulcer gastritis, H. pylori infection, esophageal varices, and upper GI bleeding. Your physician will be able to make treatment recommendations based on the endoscopy findings.
When you arrive at the endoscopy center, you will be greeted by our nursing staff who will review your medical history and will insert an IV. You will then have a chance to discuss any questions you have with your doctor before the procedure starts. Immediately before the procedure, you will be given sedative medications which may be administered either by an anesthesiologist or by your gastroenterologist (you may discuss these options with our doctor at your initial office visit). When you are adequately sedated, the endoscope will be used to examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum and biopsies may be taken at the time of the procedure. The procedure generally lasts 10-15 minutes and you will awaken in the recovery room. Your gastroenterologist will then review the endoscopic findings with you and may make new treatment recommendations. You are permitted to return to work and all normal activities the following day.
Upper endoscopy is a very safe procedure. There is a rare (1 in 5,000) risk of perforation (puncture) of the lining of the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum which may require surgery to repair. Other rare complications include bleeding, pneumonia, and cardiac complications related to the anesthesia. You will have time to review the risks and benefits of the procedure with your physician both at your initial office visit and immediately before the endoscopy. If biopsies were obtained during procedure, you are asked to call the office in approximately one week to review the biopsy results and for further planned follow-up care.