Upper Endoscopy / Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
Upper endoscopy is also known as EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy). This procedure uses a thin flexible tube with a light and camera at the end to examine the upper gastrointestinal tract, extending from the oropharynx (mouth) to the stomach and into the duodenum (first part of small intestine). Commonly found abnormalities include esophagitis, GERD, Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal varices, hiatal hernia, Schatzki’s ring, esophageal strictures, gastritis, gastric/peptic ulcers, duodenitis, duodenal ulcers, and Celiac sprue. For the upper endoscopy, you will be asked to lie on your left side; a bite block will be placed in your mouth to protect your teeth and the endoscope from potential damage to each other. You will then be sedated by an anesthesiologist who will also monitor your vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate/rhythm, and oxygen level/breathing status) and level of comfort throughout the procedure. Once sedated, the endoscope will be passed through your mouth, esophagus, stomach, and into your duodenum. Air will be introduced through the endoscope to inflate your upper GI tract to enable your doctor to fully inspect the lining. For that reason, you may experience belching after the procedure. If necessary, biopsies may be obtained during the procedure to help confirm your diagnosis. Based on the findings, certain therapeutic maneuvers may also be performed, such as dilation therapy for strictures (narrowing) or ablation therapy to seal bleeding vessels. You will not experience pain if a biopsy is obtained. The procedure usually lasts approximately 5 to 15 minutes followed by a 30 minute recovery period.