Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or EGD, (also known as upper GI endoscopy), is the examination of the upper digestive tract. This minimally invasive procedure is used to diagnose unexplained anemia, persistent dyspepsia (patients over 40 years old), dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), heartburn and chronic acid reflex, odynophagia (painful swallowing), and upper gastrointestinal bleeding. An EGD enables your doctor to examine your upper digestive tract for abnormalities using an endoscope.
Do not eat food for at least 4 to 6 hours before the procedure. Notify your doctor if you have a history of bleeding disorders or if you are taking any anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medications, aspirin, or other medications that affect blood clotting. You may need to stop these medications before the procedure.
The test lasts 5 to 20 minutes. The patient may receive moderate sedation or topical anesthesia on their oropharynx (part of the pharynx that reaches from the uvula to the hyoid bone). The patient lies on their left side on the exam table with their head bent forward during the procedure. A mouth-guard is placed between the teeth to prevent the patient from biting on the endoscope. If you wear dentures you will be asked to remove them prior to the procedure. The endoscope is passed over the tongue and into the oropharynx. The endoscope is guided to the stomach and examines the first and second parts of the duodenum (small intestine).
SIDE EFFECTS AND RISKS
The main risks are infection, bleeding and perforation. The risk is increased when a biopsy or other intervention is performed. Patients who are allergic to or sensitive to medications, contrast dyes, iodine, shellfish, or latex should notify their physician. If you are pregnant or suspect that you are pregnant, you should notify your physician. Notify your doctor of all medications (prescribed and over-the-counter) and herbal supplements that you are taking.