What is an upper endoscopy?
An upper endoscopy (also known as an esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD) is a procedure that helps a gastroenterologist to visualize your upper digestive tract to diagnose and treat problems in the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).
Upper endoscopies are often used to diagnose and treat a variety of medical conditions, including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), esophagitis, stomach ulcers, Barrett’s esophagus, celiac disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases, and tumors in the upper digestive tract. They may also be used to identify and evaluate the cause of abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, and to take biopsies or remove polyps.
An upper endoscopy is often recommended when you have new or unexplained symptoms, or a treatment is not working. Your clinician at Gastroenterology Associates of Brooklynn may recommend an upper endoscopy when you are experiencing digestive symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, heartburn, abdominal pain, or nausea. It may also be recommended if there are signs of infection in the gastrointestinal system, to diagnose and treat bleeding from the stomach or esophagus, or to evaluate for any suspicious lumps or growths. It is the best test to determine the cause of bleeding in the upper GI tract.
You will be instructed on how to prepare for this procedure. Generally, you should stop eating and drinking 6 hours before the test and you will receive instructions on discontinuing blood thinners and specific medications before the test. Before the procedure, you can ask questions about the procedure and your clinician at Gastroenterology Associates of Brooklyn will answer your questions to help you make an informed decision. You will sign a consent form.
Upper endoscopy is performed in a hospital or outpatient clinic under conscious sedation, IV medication to help you relax and block pain. This is a safe and effective way to keep you comfortable during your procedure and allows you to recovery quickly. The procedure can take 5-20 minutes.
Just before the procedure a local anesthetic may be sprayed into your mouth to prevent gagging while the scope is inserted. A mouth guard will protect your teeth, gums and the scope.
During an upper endoscopy, you will lie on your side and your specialist at Gastroenterology Associates of Brooklyn will insert a thin and flexible tube called an endoscope through the mouth, down the throat, and into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum to examine the lining of these tissues.
The endoscope contains a tiny camera which transmits images of the inside of the digestive tract onto a monitor. This allows your specialist at Gastroenterology Associates of Brooklyn to identify problems such as ulcers, tumors, or inflammation in these areas. The doctor may also use special tools inserted through the endoscope to take tissue samples (biopsy), control bleeding and treat upper GI abnormalities directly.
After your upper endoscopy, your specialist at Gastroenterology Associates of Brooklyn Brooklynn GI clinician will explain the results of the examination. Biopsy results are not immediately available. You will be notified when the results of available.
You should be able to go home 1-2 hours after your procedure. You will NOT be permitted to drive and will need someone to pick you up. Upper endoscopies are typically safe and comfortable, and complications are rare. Your doctor will explain potential complications and to contact them if you are concerned.
After the procedure, some people may experience light throat pain and may feel bloated due to air introduced into the stomach during the procedure, but this feeling should subside quickly. You will receive going home instructions for recovery at home.
Because upper endoscopies are minimally invasive and relatively quick procedures, they can provide essential information to help diagnose and treat medical conditions that may otherwise be difficult to identify. It is more accurate than an x-ray to detect inflammation, ulcers, and tumors.