An EGD is a procedure that allows the physician to examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach and the first portion of the small intestine. The physician inserts a long, flexible tube into the patient’s mouth and then gently pushes it through the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The tube has a light and video camera attached to it which allows images from the tube to be seen on a monitor.
Before the procedure, the patient receives medication to help him or her relax, as well as a local anesthetic to prevent gagging when the tube is inserted. Patients typically do not recall the procedure and experience no pain.
An EGD may be performed to:
- Take tissue samples for a biopsy
- Remove things that are stuck in the upper GI tract
- Stop bleeding
It may be performed to determine the cause of unexplained symptoms such as:
- Trouble swallowing
- Weight loss
- Upper belly pain or chest pain that is not heart-related
- Continuous vomiting
- Upper GI bleeding
Preparation for an EGD involves a period of no food for several hours prior to the procedure. Patients will have to follow those and other instructions regarding medications that may have to be stopped prior to the EGD.
After the procedure, patients go to a recovery room. When the medical staff determines that the patient is stable, he or she is taken to a hospital room or discharged to home. In the event of discharge, someone must drive the patient home.
Note: This information shouldn’t take the place of a physician’s care. Please see your physician or one of the Digestive Disease Associate physicians (Drs. Carl Calandra or Suman Kaur) with any questions or concerns — or to schedule a procedure — at (630) 325-4255.