Upper endoscopy (sometimes referred to as esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD) is a visual examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract that uses a flexible scope called an endoscope to evaluate the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the very upper portion of the small intestine). The endoscope is thin and flexible, and it’s equipped with a tiny camera that’s used to send images back to a monitor where they can be viewed by the doctor. Upper endoscopy exams can also be used to perform some minimally-invasive procedures and to take biopsies (small tissue samples) for further evaluation in a lab.
The upper GI tract performs a host of functions that aid in digestion and absorption of nutrients, and an upper endoscopy can provide critical information about diseases and conditions that affect any portion of the tract. Upper endoscopy exams are frequently used to diagnose and treat:
Upper endoscopy is performed at The GI Health AAAASF-accredited Office-Based Surgery (OBS) facility. Patients are given an intravenous sedative by a licensed anesthesiologist, much like with colonoscopy, in order to ensure maximal comfort and safety as well as afford the physician endoscopist ample opportunity to conduct a thorough examination. A topical anesthetic may also be used to numb the back of the throat to further enhance safety and comfort during the examination. Once the patient is properly sedated, the endoscope is inserted through the mouth and throat and slowly advanced into the stomach and duodenum. If a procedure or biopsy is being performed, special accessories can be inserted through the instrument as needed using the camera to guide the procedure. Diagnostic endoscopies take about 15 minutes to perform. Prior to the exam, patients will need to restrict what they eat and drink, and certain medications may need to be avoided until the exam is complete. Complete instructions will be provided during the consultation appointment prior to the endoscopic procedure.