An Upper Endoscopy (also known as esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD) is a procedure used to diagnose various conditions of the esophagus, stomach and small intestine. The examination can be used to diagnose and/or treat conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, Barrett’s esophagus, swallowing difficulties, and peptic ulcer disease.
Upper endoscopy involves inserting a lighted, flexible instrument into the upper intestinal tract. An upper endoscopy is performed by a gastroenterologist at a special facility with specially trained nurses so it can be performed safely and comfortably. After arriving at the facility, a nurse will meet with you and review your medical history, medicines and allergies. The nurse will also place a small needle in your vein for the duration of the test. You will then be brought to an examination room and meet with your doctor before beginning the test. At the start of the test, you will receive medications for sedation. The majority of people feel very little discomfort during the exam. The endoscope will be passed through your mouth into your upper intestinal tract and will not interfere with your breathing. Biopsies can be obtained during the examination. The exam will last approximately 10 minutes.
After your Endoscopy
After the examination, you will rest in the recovery area. Your doctor will review the results of the examination with you and you will receive a written report. You will need a ride home and we ask that you do not drive for the rest of the day. Buses and taxis are prohibited. You may return to your usual activities the next day. You may resume your normal diet as you wish. You should allow 2-3 hours for the entire appointment.
Preparing for your Endoscopy
Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before your procedure. You may take only essential medications in the morning with tiny sips of water only. It is best to wait until after the procedure. If your procedure is in the afternoon you may drink clear liquids until 4 hours before your procedure. Clear liquids include water, coffee and tea with no cream, clear fruit juice, clear pop, Gatorade, and Jell-O but nothing Red or Purple. Do not drink any oily liquids such as broth. You may be asked to stop certain medications as well such as warfarin (coumadin) and clopidogrel (Plavix).