What is an EGD?
Also called upper endoscopy is a procedure used to visually examine your upper digestive system with a tiny camera on the end of a long, flexible tube. This is performed by a Gastroenterologist.
Reasons Why it is Done
An upper endoscopy is used to diagnose and treat conditions that affect the upper part of your digestive system, including the esophagus, stomach and beginning of the small intestine (duodenum). Your doctor may recommend an endoscopy procedure to:
- Investigate symptoms. Help your doctor determine what's causing digestive signs and symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing and gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Diagnose. Your doctor may use it to collect tissue samples (biopsy) to test for diseases and conditions, such as anemia, bleeding, inflammation, diarrhea or cancers of the digestive system.
- Treat. Your doctor can pass special tools through the endoscope to treat problems in your digestive system.
What to Expect
An endoscopy typically takes 15 to 30 minutes, depending on your situation.
- The endoscope is inserted in your mouth.
- A tiny camera at the tip transmits images to a video monitor in the exam room.
- Your doctor will pass special surgical tools through the endoscope to collect a tissue sample or remove a polyp if present.
You may stay for an hour or so. This allows your health care team to monitor you as the sedative begins to wear off.
Once you're at home, you may experience some mildly uncomfortable signs and symptoms after endoscopy, such as:
- Bloating and gas
- Sore throat
These signs and symptoms will improve with time. If you're concerned or quite uncomfortable, call your doctor.
When you receive the results of your endoscopy will depend on your situation. If, for instance, your doctor performed the endoscopy to look for an ulcer, you may learn the findings right after your procedure. If he/she collected a tissue sample (biopsy), you may need to wait a few days to get results. Ask your doctor when you can expect the results of your EGD.
How to Prepare
Upper GI or EGD preparation is simple if we compare it to a colonoscopy. Your physician may request you to:
- Is going to be necessary to fast for at least 8 hours prior procedure.
- Stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners.
- Tell your doctor about all the medications and supplements you're taking before your endoscopy.
An endoscopy is a very safe procedure.
Rare complications include:
- Bleeding. Your risk of bleeding increases of during procedure biopsies are taken.
- Infection risk is very low.
- Tearing/perforation of the gastrointestinal tract. It occurs in an estimated 1 of every 2,500 to 11,000 diagnostic upper endoscopies.