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Upper GI Endoscopy (EGD)

Upper GI endoscopy, sometimes called EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy), is a visual examination of the upper intestinal tract using a lighted, flexible, fiber-optic endoscope. The upper gastrointestinal tract begins with the mouth and continues with the esophagus (food pipe) which carries food to the stomach. The stomach secretes a potent acid and churns food into small particles. The food then enters the duodenum, or small bowel, where bile from the liver and digestive fluid from the pancreas mix to help the digestive process.

What is an EGD?

An EGD is also called an upper endoscopy or an esophagogastroduodenoscopy. It is a procedure in which a doctor uses an endoscope—a flexible tube with a camera—to see the lining of your upper GI tract. A gastroenterologist, surgeon, or other trained health care professional performs the procedure, most often while you receive light sedation to help you relax. Upper GI endoscopy is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. Intravenous sedation is usually given to relax the patient, depress the gag reflex and even cause short-term amnesia. For some individuals who can relax on their own and whose gagging can be controlled, the exam is done without intravenous medications. For others, deep sedation, where the patient is completely asleep, is utilized. The endoscope is then gently inserted into the upper esophagus. You will be able to breathe easily throughout the exam. Other instruments can be passed through the scope to perform additional procedures if necessary. For example, a biopsy can be done to obtain a small tissue specimen for microscopic analysis. A polyp or tumor can be removed using a thin wire snare and electrocautery (electrical heat).

Upper GI Endoscopy

Who is a candidate for an EGD?

Do you have difficulty swallowing, pain in the upper abdomen, unexplained heartburn? If you answered yes to any of those symptoms, then you should schedule an EGD today!

An EGD may be right for you!

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Upper GI Endoscopy

How is an EGD performed?

In an upper GI endoscopy, the doctor uses an endoscope (a flexible narrow camera) to see inside your upper GI tract. This procedure takes place at a the outpatient center.

An intravenous (IV) needle will be placed in your arm to provide a sedative. Sedatives help you stay relaxed and comfortable during the procedure. In some cases, the procedure can be performed without sedation. You will be given a liquid anesthetic to gargle or spray anesthetic on the back of your throat. The doctor carefully feeds the endoscope down your esophagus and into your stomach and duodenum. A small camera mounted on the endoscope sends a video image to a monitor, allowing close examination of the lining of your upper GI tract. The endoscope pumps air into your stomach and duodenum, making them easier to see.

The doctor may perform a biopsy with the endoscope by taking a small piece of tissue from the lining of your esophagus or stomach. You won’t feel the biopsy. A pathologist examines the tissue in a lab.


When will I get the results?

After the exam, the physician explains the results. If the effects of the sedatives are prolonged, the physician may suggest an appointment for a later date when the patient can fully understand and remember the results. If a biopsy has been performed or a polyp removed, the results will not be available for three to seven days.

How do I prepare for and EGD?

As a precaution you should talk with your doctor about your medical history, including medical conditions and symptoms you have, allergies, and all prescribed and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements you take.

What is the typical cost of treatment?

Visit Our Pricing Page. Cost may vary depending on the need for additional testing during the procedure.

How long is the procedure?

An EGD often takes between 15 and 30 minutes.

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