EGD/Upper Endoscopy

EGD- Esophagogastroduodenoscopy

EGD is a test to evaluate the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum using a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope. It is usually done to evaluate heartburn, reflux, upper abdomen pain, difficulty swallowing, persistent nausea or vomiting, ulcers, upper GI tract bleeding, black stools, anemia, weight loss, tumor of the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum, H. Pylori infection, Celiac Disease, hiatal hernia, and gastritis. During the test, your doctor may obtain a biopsy of the lining to evaluate both benign and/or cancerous growths. Biopsy can also be done to test for an infection of the stomach called H. Pylori, which can cause chronic inflammation or ulcers. Sometimes the test may be done to treat problems of the Upper GI tract such as esophagus stricture or narrowing. The EGD is then done to dilate the esophagus. Another indication may also be to remove foreign bodies blocking the esophagus

How to Prepare for the Test

The best and safest way to evaluate the mucous lining is to have an empty stomach, so you will be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight. You may also be asked to stop taking Aspirin, certain arthritis medicines, or blood thinning medicines for a few days prior to the procedure. If you are on blood pressure, heart, or diabetes medicines, or iron products, you will need to speak with your doctor regarding the use of these medications in the days prior to the procedure. You will need to remove all dentures and also notify the nurse of any loose or diseased teeth.

What happens during an upper Endoscopy?

What happens during an upper Endoscopy? You will be sedated to help you relax and your doctor may spray your throat with a local anesthetic. You will then be turned to your side and the doctor will pass the endoscope through your mouth and into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, viewing the lining. Biopsies will be taken as needed, but you will not feel any discomfort. After the test, you may not have any memory of the procedure, even after the sedation wears off. You may, however, feel a little bit bloated because of the air introduced during the procedure and may also have a mildly sore throat for a short duration. You should be able to eat immediately following the test unless instructed otherwise by your doctor. The doctor will discuss the findings after the effects of sedation wear off. For the biopsy results, you will have to call the office 7 days after the procedure. The sedation given during the procedure will impair your judgement and reflexes, so you cannot drive for the rest of the day, even if you feel alert enough.


Complications are rare, especially when trained and experienced doctors perform this procedure. Bleeding from the biopsy site, or the site where a polyp is removed can occur, but is usually minimal. There is an extremely small risk of a hole or perforation of the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum which will require surgery to fix. You may have a reaction to the medicine/sedation drug during the procedure which can cause apnea (not breathing), respiratory depression, low blood pressure, slow heartbeat, loss of a loose tooth, or spasm of the larynx. The risk, however, is less than 1/1000 people.