Esophagogastroduodenscopy, or EGD, allows a physician to have direct visualization of the lining of the esophagus, stomach and the upper small intestine. The procedure is done using a thin, flexible, lighted tube called an endoscope. The endoscope is approximately 1/2 inch in diameter and has devices that allow the physician to inject air or water in front of the tube, opening up the natural folds and crevices in the gastrointestinal tract for viewing. Suction is also available to remove the air or water as needed. The end of the endoscope is inserted through the mouth and then gently advanced into the esophagus, stomach and upper small intestine or duodenum. Images are projected to a screen, so the physician can examine them and look for potential problems or disease in the upper gastrointestinal tract. At this point, painless biopsies or samples of tissue may be taken using instruments that are passed through the scope. Some reasons to have an EGD include nausea, vomiting, bleeding, anemia, acid reflux, swallowing problems, and abdominal or chest pain. The procedure lasts approximately 5-15 minutes.
Before the Procedure:
Once you and your doctor have decided an endoscopic procedure is necessary, it is very important to notify the doctor if you:
- Are taking any medications, and if you have allergies to any medications
- Take blood thinning medication, including aspirin, or have bleeding problems
- Are pregnant or might be pregnant
- Have had a heart valve replacement or heart problems
- Have diabetes
You will be asked:
- To leave all valuables and jewelry at home the day of the procedure
- Not to eat or drink anything for 6-8 hours before the procedure
- To make arrangements with someone to drive you home after the procedure. You will be medicated and not able to safely drive the rest of the day.
A staff nurse from the Specialty Surgery Center will call you the last business day before your procedure to confirm your scheduled test and to answer any questions you may have. The day of the procedure, arrive at the Center one (1) hour before your scheduled test time. Register at the reception desk in the Specialty Surgery Center. A nurse will escort you to the changing area, where you will be asked to remove all clothing above the waist and put on a hospital gown. You will be asked to sign a consent form and answer questions regarding health history, medications you are taking and any allergies you may have. Vital signs will be taken; an IV or intravenous line is inserted into a vein to receive pain and sedating medication in the procedure room prior to the test. An antibiotic may be given intravenously if needed.
During the Procedure:
After the Procedure:
- Your vital signs are consistently measured throughout the test.
- Prior to insertion of the endoscope, a numbing agent is sprayed in the back of the throat to relax the gag reflex.
- You will be asked to turn onto your left side with you chin pointed toward your chest for the procedure.
- Medication is given through the IV to help you feel drowsy, relaxed and comfortable during the procedure. You are able to breathe normally throughout the procedure.
- When the scope is inserted, you may be asked to swallow as it passes through the throat into the esophagus.
- Biopsies may be taken during the procedure. This is painless to the patient.
- The scope is then slowly removed, the test is over, and you will be taken to the recovery area.
- You are in the recovery area approximately 30-60 minutes.
- In the recovery area, vital signs are taken again.
- You will be given something to drink once the numbing agent in your throat wears off.
- The IV will be removed.
- The doctor will talk with you.
- Discharge instructions will be discussed, and you may leave with a responsible driver.
- Call your doctor if you have any bleeding greater than a teaspoon, temperature greater than 101 degrees, severe pain or vomiting, redness, tenderness or swelling at the IV insertion site.
- Call 911 if you have chest pain or shortness of breath.
- A nurse will call you the next business day after your procedure to see how you are doing.