What is it:

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a procedure that is done to check for problems in your upper digestive tract. EGD is commonly used for both therapeutic and diagnostic procedures.

Depending on what the provider sees as a result of performing the EGD, there are several procedures that may be performed through the endoscope. Such as: Biopsy – small sample of tissue; Cytology – brushing of cells; stretching narrowed areas of the esophagus, duodenum or stomach; removal of swallowed objects or polyps; and treatment of ulcers or bleeding vessels.


Reasons for the Procedure:

This test might be ordered if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Abdominal Pain
- Chronic Liver Disease or Cirrhosis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Black or Tarry Stools
- Heartburn
- Swallowing Difficulties or Pain with Swallowing
- Unexplained Weight Loss
- Unexplained Anemia
- Vomiting Blood


How to Prepare for the Procedure:

To help prepare for the test fasting is required overnight (6 to 12 hours before the test is performed).


Process:

-Typically your healthcare provider will spray a numbing medication into the back part of your throat or you will gargle it in order to make this procedure more comfortable. It can take around 30 minutes for your throat to numb.

- You will be instructed to lie on your left side

- A small plastic guard or mouthpiece will be place in your mouth to protect your teeth when the endoscope is placed into your esophagus (food pipe). This will also help you from accidentally biting on the tube.

-A small flexible endoscope (bendable tube that acts as a camera) is put into the mouth (or through the nose if it is a smaller caliber endoscope) and moved through the pharynx, esophagus, stomach and duodenum

- The endoscope acts as a camera and enables your provider to see the inside of your digestive system on a video screen. It is also able to take videotape and pictures during the procedure.


What to Expect:

To help relax your throat muscles and help keep the passageway open you need to take deep, slow breaths. You will be told to put your chin on your chest and open your mouth. When your healthcare provider pushes the tube they will ask you to swallow – this helps the tube go down easily.


Duration

The test lasts for approximately 5 to 20 minutes.


Afterward:

You may feel slightly bloated from the air that is introduced through the endoscope but this typically wears off in a short period of time.