Patient Education:                                Upper Endoscopy

What is an upper endoscopy (EGD)?

An upper endoscopy, also known as an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), is a medical procedure in which a long, flexible tube with a light and camera on the end is used to examine the inside of the upper digestive system. The tube is called an endoscope and is inserted through the mouth and into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). the procedure is typically performed by a gastroenterologist.

During the endoscopy, the doctor can view the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum and look for any abnormalities or issues. The doctor may also take biopsies(small samples of tissue) for further testing.

Who needs an EGD?

You might have an upper endoscopy if you have:

  • pain in your upper belly that you cannot explain
  • a condition called acid reflux
  • nausea and vomiting that has lasted a long time
  • diarrhea that has lasted a long time
  • black bowel movements or blood in your vomit
  • trouble swallowing or a feeling of food getting stuck in your throat
  • abnormal results from your other tests of your digestive system
  • swallowed an object that you should not have swallowed
  • had growths or ulcers in your digestive tract, and your doctor wants to follow up you know mate go to your mother


What to expect during and after an EGD:

Your doctor will give you an IV through which you will receive medicines to make you feel relaxed. They may give you a mouth spray or gargle to numb your mouth. You may also get a plastic mouth guard to protect your teeth.

Then your doctor will put a thin tube with a camera and light on the end into your mouth and down into your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. They will look for irritation, bleeding, ulcers, or growths.

During an endoscopy, your doctor might also:

  • take a biopsy
  • treat problems that they see - for example, a doctor can stop bleeding or sometimes remove a growth period they can also widen any narrow areas of the esophagus. Narrow areas of the esophagus can cause trouble swallowing

After your EGD, you will be watched for a couple of hours until your medicines wear off. You will be recommended not to drive or go to work right after your procedure.


What are some complications of an EGD?

You may experience any of the following after an EGD:

  • Bloating
  • Nausea (likely due to the medicines used before the procedure)
  • Food from the stomach getting into the lungs (aspiration)
  • Bleeding
  • Getting a tear in the digestive tract lining
  • Having redness or swelling of the skin around the IV

When to call my doctor to seek emergent care:

Call your doctor or go to your local ER immediately if you have any of the following problems after your upper endoscopy:

  • Belly pain that is much worse than gas pain or cramps
  • A bloated and hard belly
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Trouble swallowing or severe throat pain
  • Black bowel movements
  • A “crunching” feeling under the skin in the neck
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© Jatinder S. Sekhon, M.D.