Upper Endoscopy (EGD)

An upper endoscopy, also called an EGD, is designed to examine the lining of the upper part of your gastrointestinal (digestive) tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first portion of the small intestine). Using a thin, flexible tube tipped with a light (endoscope), your doctor views the images on a video monitor. This procedure is often performed to:

  • Determine the cause of persistent upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract
  • Detect inflammation, ulcers, and tumors of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum
  • Obtain a biopsy (small tissue samples)
  • Treat conditions of the upper GI tract

What do I need to know for my upper endoscopy?

BEFORE: An empty stomach is required for the exam, so you should have nothing to eat or drink, including water, for approximately 6 hours before the examination. Your doctor will tell you when to start fasting. Be sure to tell your doctor in advance about any medications you take, and discuss any allergies to medications as well as any medical conditions. Your doctor will provide full preparation instructions to follow.

DURING: Your procedure begins with either a local anesthetic sprayed on the throat or a sedative to help you relax. You will lie on your side so that your doctor may pass the endoscope through your mouth and into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. You will be able to breath easily the whole time. Many patients fall asleep during the procedure.

AFTER: Once in the recovery area, you will be monitored until most of the effects of the sedatives have worn off. Your throat might be a little sore, and you might feel bloated because of the air introduced into your stomach during the test. Unless your doctor recommends that you do not, you will be able to eat after you leave. If you have been given sedatives during the procedure, someone must drive you home and stay with you.