Upper Endoscopy or EGD

What is an upper endoscopy?

An upper endoscopy or EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) is typically an outpatient procedure that allows your doctor to examine parts of your upper digestive system including your esophagus, stomach and duodenum. Your doctor will use a flexible tube that has a camera and light on its end to perform the procedure.

What is it used for?

Your physician may order an upper endoscopy to evaluate a number of disorders including:

  • Heart burn or reflux disease
  • Abdominal pain
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting 
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Suspicion or bleeding from GI tracts
  • Periodic screening and surveillance in certain situations

Before the procedure

When your endoscopy procedure is scheduled you will receive detailed instructions regarding what you need to do to prepare for the procedure. Please make sure you read them carefully and follow as instructed. Your physician will ask you to not eat or drink after midnight the evening before your procedure.

Make sure you arrive to the procedure site at the time specified by your doctor’s office. Upon arrival, the staff will complete the registration process and you will be evaluated by the medical team. You will lie on your left side and an intravenous line will be inserted so you can receive sedation for the procedure.

During the procedure

Once the pre procedure evaluation is completed you will be taken to the procedure room. We will place a plastic mouth piece to protect your teeth and the endoscope. Once you are sedated and comfortable the doctor will insert the endoscope through your mouth and complete the test. During the procedure your doctor may elect to obtain small samples of the lining of your GI tract using the biopsy forceps. Under certain circumstances additional instruments and interventions may be needed.

After the procedure

You will be monitored until most of the effects of the sedatives have worn off.
Your doctor will explain the results of the examination to you. If biopsies were performed you will have to wait a few days for those results to become available. You must have a driver take you home.

Is the procedure safe?

Any procedure carries a small amount of risk and potential complications. These risks will be discussed with you in detail prior to the procedure and before the patient provides consent. Some of the risks with an upper endoscopy include:

  • Infections
  • Bleeding
  • Perforation or creating a hole in the bowel

Contact us

Our team remains available to answer your questions anytime beyond your clinic visit. Call (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677 or request an appointment  to learn more about upper endoscopies.