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An esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a mouthful in more ways than one. Sometimes referred to as an upper endoscopy commonly, an EGD is a surgical procedure that helps to evaluate and treat a variety of issues that impact an upper digestive (GI) tract. The tract consists of the stomach, esophagus and the upper part of the small intestine.

By using the throat and mouth to access the throat to the throat, a fiberoptic endoscope with a camera to see an upper section of the digestive tract and obtain biopsy samples, or treat gastrointestinal issues.

This article will explain the way in which an EGD operates, why doctors may recommend it as well as its possible risks and limitations. It also provides tips on the steps to prepare for any EGD and what you can anticipate when the time comes for the test.

What Is An EGD?

An EGD can be used as an intervention or diagnostic instrument or both. It could be a an element of your medical treatment when your doctor requires access to the lumen of your upper GI tract which is inside of the permanent GI tube. Children and adults alike can undergo this procedure.1

An EGD utilizes an endoscope which is advanced from the mouth into the digestive tract. The endoscope is slim and flexible, and includes a camera as well as microsurgical instruments attached. The camera can observe the inner lining inside the lumen. Your doctor may also make videos of the area to aid in forming an assessment and plan for future treatments.2 The instruments used for surgery are used to eliminate and treat diseases and defects.

Your EGD could include one or more of the following processes:

  • Duodenoscopy is a procedure that allows access to within the duodenum the initial part of the small intestine.
  • Esophagoscopy is a procedure that goes into the esophagus.
  • Gastroscopy, which reaches the inside of the stomach.

An EGD doesn’t show an upper part of the GI tract from outside. Also, it does not give reliable information on the lungs, the liver, spleen or any other organs nearby.

An EGD is among the most effective tools a healthcare professional has available. It provides a clear picture of the upper digestive (GI) tract.


Your physician may recommend that you delay your upper endoscopy if there is an active pulmonary condition like asthma, severe flare-ups of chronic obstructive respiratory disease (COPD) or heart problems which could affect anesthesia.

Additionally, an infection of the throat, nose or the pulmonary tract, in particular when the procedure is performed for diagnosis is enough to delay the procedure.

Potential Risks

Most of the time, complications caused by an EGD are minor and are evident after the procedure, or within a couple of days. The possibility of serious complications is there however they are not common.

A tear or an abrasion of the lining of your stomach, esophagus or small intestine could cause bleeding. It may heal itself in the case of a small abrasion. If it’s bigger and abrasions are causing bleeding, and could require repair in your EGD procedure, or at a later date.

The procedure can also result in a rupture in the GI tract of your upper part, which can lead to severe bleeding or even a fatal gastric fluid leak that will need urgent repairs. The effects on your respiratory system or cardiac from the anesthesia can also occur in those with a severe lung or heart disease.3

Set Expectations

There is a higher risk of complications in the event that you have had an extensive upper GI problem ahead of the surgery for example, bleeding ulcers or massive tumor. Furthermore an therapeutic EGD can cause more disruption to the tissue than the diagnosis EGD as well as is more likely to result in complications.

Triggering Symptoms

An EGD could be used for either therapeutic or diagnostic reasons, depending on the medical condition. Your doctor may suggest an EGD in the event that you experience one of these symptoms

  • Abdominal pain
  • The taste of bitterness in the mouth
  • Chest pain
  • Excessive or persistent vomiting
  • Unusual or excessive burping
  • Heartburn
  • Hematemesis (vomiting blood) or hemoptysis (coughing up blood)
  • Indigestion
  • The pain of swallowing (odynophagia)
  • Swallowing difficulties (dysphagia)
  • Weight loss
  • Unproved anemia that is not explained (low white blood function of cells)

Other Contributing Factors

There is also the possibility that you need to undergo an EGD when you’ve experienced abdominal X-rays or ultrasound scan as well as a computed tomography (CT scan) which suggests an issue with the GI tract’s upper lumen. Imaging tests typically reveal the anatomical anatomy of the GI organs and the nearby ones however, they don’t reveal the look of the inner lining. This makes upper endoscopy useful addition for imaging tests.

EGD is not only contemplated when physical exam and medical history may suggest an obstruction in the lumen which isn’t visible by a less invasive test such as one that uses imaging. If you’ve consumed a foreign object or a caustic or toxic substance or a caustic substance, EGD may be the best option. EGD might be the best option.

A diagnostic tool, EGD is also useful in cases where it’s the most simple and most secure method to take the biopsy. In the course of treatment your doctor could take some or all of the tissues to be examined with an microscope.4

Anatomy, Structure, and Function of the Esophagus

Conditions Come Into Clearer Focus

Conditions that could be treated or diagnosed with an EGD are: 2

  • Achalasia (impaired movement) of the upper digestive tract
  • Cancer
  • Chronic illnesses like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, or even Crohn’s disease
  • Esophageal varices (enlarged blood vessels prone to bleeding)
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Infections
  • Inflammation
  • The narrowing of certain areas within the GI tract
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Ulcerations

In the event of an emergency the medical professional you consult with can respond through:

  • The process of removing a growth (like cancer)
  • Reparing an open lesion (like the ulcer)
  • The tying off of the esophageal varices (dilated blood vessels)
  • Utilizing heat or cold to break up an abscess (a swelling mass of tissue)
  • Utilizing a balloon-like device, or laser therapy to treat dilatation (widening) of the upper GI tract

EGD is also utilized for the treatment of obese patients with severe weight loss as an alternative to other kinds of weight reduction surgical procedures. This method involves techniques that reduce the size of the stomach by using an endoscopic method to put in sutures instead of making an abdominal incision.6


Imagine that you’re undergoing an EGD in the event that you’re suffering from persistent stomach discomfort. This procedure helps your doctor to pinpoint exactly what’s causing the discomfort and, possibly fix the root of the issue.

How to Prepare

Prior to your EGD Your healthcare provider might recommend imaging tests to aid in planning the procedure. The healthcare provider would like to be ready. But you also need to be prepared and knowing the answers to commonly asked questions could aid:

  • Where is the location where EGD take place? EGDs typically take place in an endoscopy room (a specific treatment room). It could be in a hospital, a surgery center or even an outpatient clinic. Consult your doctor to verify.
  • How long will the procedure take? It will take between 30 and 60 minutes for the physician to check the esophagus, stomach, as well as duodenum, during an upper endoscopy.7
  • What do I need to wear?

     It is recommended to wear a dress for the procedure. Because you might be bloated following the EGD dress in a way that’s loose around your waist.

  • Do I need to eat or drink prior to my appointment? Your physician may suggest that you modify your diet to a certain amount of weeks before your appointment. For instance, you could be advised to stay away from gluten if you have an indication that you may be suffering from celiac. In other cases, you’ll be required to avoid eating or drinking for a period of an hour prior to the EGD.8 You might be allowed to drink water that is clear up to 5 hours prior to the appointment. Talk to your healthcare professional for additional instructions for you.
  • Are I able to continue taking my medication until the moment for the operation? Ask your doctor to confirm. However, expect to be instructed to stop taking blood thinners few days prior to the test.3
  • What do I need to bring along? Include with you your EGD request application form (given the form by your health provider) as well as the health insurance cards, document of identification that you can use for personal purposes as well as a way to pay for your share of the cost.

What to Expect

If you’re checking-in for an EGD When you check-in for your EGD, you’ll be asked to complete several forms, including an authorization form, consent form for payment as well as a privacy form.

An EGD is usually carried out by a gastroenterologist who is a medical professional who specializes in managing gastrointestinal disorders. system. A technician or nurse will aid in the process.

Before the Procedure

Sometimes, there’s an area prior to surgery where you are able to change into a gown prior the procedure. However, most patients change into gowns in the surgical suite. If you’ve got them, dentures or plates that are partially fitted must be removed to ensure that the numbing agent can get to every part of the mouth and also to ensure that the endoscope won’t harm the dentures.

The heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, as well as oxygen levels will be measured throughout the entire procedure. There will be an oximeter for pulse placed on your finger to measure the oxygen level and pulse. The blood pressure monitor is put on your arm.

You’ll need intravenous (IV) sedated along with local numbing medication injected into your throat to avoid discomfort and gagging.3 A nurse will put an IV line inside your arm or hand; there should be a slight sensation of a pinch, but there should be no pain afterward. The IV medicine will be injected into your body, which can make you feel relaxed and sleepy. Although the drug will not make you sleepy, it’s common to sleep throughout the process.

The throat is then sprayed with the medication, that will cause a numbing effect lasting for thirty to forty-five minutes. You will then be provided with an appliance to place inside your mouth, to protect you from harm from an endoscope. Then you’ll be put in a position to lie to your right side.

During the Procedure

If you’re at a relaxed state If you are relaxed, you are instructed to swallow either once or twice throughout the initial time of placing the endoscope. The tube won’t interfere with breathing and is a slight discomfort after the initial placement.

You shouldn’t feel or feel any pain during an EGD or procedure, and you should not experience any pain or feel cuts from techniques like the biopsy or removal of tumors. There may be a sensation of abdominal fullness after the doctor injects moderate amounts of air to increase the size of your stomach, which allows better visuals. Videos or photos can capture the interior of your digestive system in order to observe any abnormalities and to aid in treatment plans.

A biopsy can be taken for a medical examination. If this is the case, you’ll be stitched inside the area to prevent bleeding, and speed healing. If you’re having an EGD to treat digestive issues Electrosurgical instruments that are attached to the endoscope are utilized according to planned.8

After the Procedure

When the endoscope is removed Your medical team will notify you that the procedure has been completed. You might not be able to recall the procedure due to the effects of the anesthesia.

It is necessary to heal and remain alert and awake before being released. While you’re recovering you may be experiencing important signs such as your pulse or blood pressure checked. Make sure you let your medical professionals know that you are experiencing discomfort or discomfort.

Your physician will discuss the outcomes of your upper endoscopy immediately following the procedure or set another appointment and develop a plan particularly if you underwent the biopsy. It could take a few days or even weeks. Make sure you know the next step prior to when you depart.


It is normal to feel tired for several hours following the EGD. It is possible to experience a slight sore throat following the procedure. Symptoms could last for up to 24 hours.

Follow the advice of your physician for when you can eat and drink again. If you are it, you should try to eat slowly and drink water slowly. Soft drinks and cool liquids are the best choice; stay clear of foods that are extremely hot or spicy. Begin your diet gradually and don’t try to eat more food than you’re able to handle in a short amount of time. You will be able to eat normal food in one week.


The process of healing from the endoscopy will not take more than a couple of days. Contact your doctor for any of the following reasons:

  • The pain in your throat can last longer than several days.
  • The pain is getting worse or you have difficulties swallowing.
  • There is swelling at the throat’s back.

See a doctor immediately If you experience unusual abdominal pain or discomfort or bleeding in the aftermath of the procedure. Coughing or stools that are dark-colored and vomiting of blood can be indications to inform your physician. The feeling of dizziness or fainting could signal an extreme loss of blood and need immediate medical treatment.

Long-term Care

There is no need for long-term treatment because of an EGD procedure in itself. However, you might require treatment to address issues that the EGD detects. Treatments could include chemotherapy and radiation treatment for cancer, surgical intervention to treat a hernia or anti-inflammatory medications to treat Crohn’s disease.

Possible Future Surgeries

In general, you will not require another EGD. However, if your symptoms suddenly get worse or you experience any new signs, your physician may recommend an additional procedure to determine the cause.

Lifestyle Adjustments

Based on the condition of your body depending on your condition, you may need to change your diet. For instance your physician or dietitian might suggest avoidance of acidic foods that can cause an ulcer. You may also have to limit your meals to smaller portions when the EGD identifies the presence of a higher GI constriction.

Remember that every GI issue is addressed through a personalized diet. There isn’t one size fits all approach.

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