Esophagogastroduodenoscopy

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a procedure to examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine (duodenum). A long, flexible, lighted tube with a camera attached (endoscope) is inserted down the throat to view these organs. This procedure is done to detect problems or abnormalities, such as inflammation, bleeding, ulcers, or growths, in order to treat them. The procedure lasts about 5–20 minutes. It is usually an outpatient procedure, but it may need to be performed in emergency cases in the hospital.

LET YOUR CAREGIVER KNOW ABOUT:

  • Allergies to food or medicine.

  • All medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbs, eyedrops, and over-the-counter medicines and creams.

  • Use of steroids (by mouth or creams).

  • Previous problems you or members of your family have had with the use of anesthetics.

  • Any blood disorders you have.

  • Previous surgeries you have had.

  • Other health problems you have.

  • Possibility of pregnancy, if this applies.

RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS

Generally, EGD is a safe procedure. However, as with any procedure, complications can occur. Possible complications include:

  • Infection.

  • Bleeding.

  • Tearing (perforation) of the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum.

  • Difficulty breathing or not being able to breath.

  • Excessive sweating.

  • Spasms of the larynx.

  • Slowed heartbeat.

  • Low blood pressure.

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

  • Do not eat or drink anything for 6–8 hours before the procedure or as directed by your caregiver.

  • Ask your caregiver about changing or stopping your regular medicines.

  • If you wear dentures, be prepared to remove them before the procedure.

  • Arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure.

PROCEDURE

  • A vein will be accessed to give medicines and fluids. A medicine to relax you (sedative) and a pain reliever will be given through that access into the vein.

  • A numbing medicine (local anesthetic) may be sprayed on your throat for comfort and to stop you from gagging or coughing.

  • A mouth guard may be placed in your mouth to protect your teeth and to keep you from biting on the endoscope.

  • You will be asked to lie on your left side.

  • The endoscope is inserted down your throat and into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum.

  • Air is put through the endoscope to allow your caregiver to view the lining of your esophagus clearly.

  • The esophagus, stomach, and duodenum is then examined. During the exam, your caregiver may:

  • Remove tissue to be examined under a microscope (biopsy) for inflammation, infection, or other medical problems.

  • Remove growths.

  • Remove objects (foreign bodies) that are stuck.

  • Treat any bleeding with medicines or other devices that stop tissues from bleeding (hot cauters, clipping devices).

  • Widen (dilate) or stretch narrowed areas of the esophagus and stomach.

  • The endoscope will then be withdrawn.

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

  • You will be taken to a recovery area to be monitored. You will be able to go home once you are stable and alert.

  • Do not eat or drink anything until the local anesthetic and numbing medicines have worn off. You may choke.

  • It is normal to feel bloated, have pain with swallowing, or have a sore throat for a short time. This will wear off.

  • Your caregiver should be able to discuss his or her findings with you. It will take longer to discuss the test results if any biopsies were taken.