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Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a test to examine the lining of the esophagus (the tube that connects your throat to your stomach), stomach, and first part of the small intestine. It is done with a small camera (flexible endoscope) that is inserted down the throat.
Esophagogastroduodenoscopy; Upper endoscopy; Gastroscopy
You will receive a sedative and a painkiller (analgesic). You should feel no pain and not remember the procedure. A local anesthetic may be sprayed into your mouth to prevent you from coughing or gagging when the endoscope is inserted. A mouth guard will be inserted to protect your teeth and the endoscope. Dentures must be removed.
In most cases, a needle (IV) will be inserted into a vein in your arm to give you medications during the procedure.
You will be instructed to lie on your left side.
After the sedatives have taken effect:
After the test is finished, you will not be able to have foods and liquids until your gag reflex returns (so you don't choke).
The test lasts about 5 - 20 minutes.
You will not be able to eat anything for 6 - 12 hours before the test. You must sign an informed consent form. You may be told to stop taking aspirin and other blood-thinning medicines for several days before the test.
The local anesthetic makes swallowing difficult. This wears off shortly after the procedure. The endoscope may make you gag.
You may feel gas, and the movement of the scope in your abdomen. You will not be able to feel the biopsy. Because of the sedation, you may not feel any discomfort and have no memory of the test.
When you wake up, you may feel a little bloated from the air that was put into your body through the endoscope. This feeling will wear off in a short period of time.
EGD may be done if you have symptoms that are new, cannot be explained, or are not responding to treatment, such as:
Your doctor may also order this test if you:
The test may also be used to take a piece of tissue for biopsy.
The esophagus, stomach, and duodenum should be smooth and of normal color. There should be no bleeding, growths, ulcers, or inflammation.
An abnormal EGD may be the result of:
There is a small chance of a hole (perforation) in the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus. There is also a small risk of bleeding at the biopsy site.
You could have a reaction to the medicine used during the procedure, which could cause:
The risk is less than 1 out of 1,000 people.
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Mercer DW, Robinson EK. Stomach. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 47.
Pasricha PJ. Gastrointestinal endoscopy. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 136.