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(EGD, Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, Upper GI Endoscopy, Gastroscopy, Esophagoscopy)
Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a diagnostic procedure that allows the physician to diagnose and treat problems in the upper gastrointestinal (UGI) tract. The physician uses a long, flexible, lighted tube called an endoscope. The endoscope is guided through the patient's mouth and throat, then through the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). The physician can examine the inside of these organs and detect abnormalities.
In addition to performing visual examination of the UGI tract with the endoscope, the physician can insert instruments through the endoscope to obtain tissue samples for a biopsy, remove foreign objects, instill air or fluid, stop bleeding, or perform therapeutic procedures, such as endoscopic surgery, laser therapy, or dilatation (opening up). A video camera in the endoscope provides images onto a TV-like monitor.
Other related procedures that may be used to diagnose upper gastrointestinal problems are barium swallow and upper gastrointestinal series. Please see these procedures for additional information.
Digestion is the process by which food and liquid are broken down into smaller parts so that the body can use them to build and nourish cells, and to provide energy. Digestion begins in the mouth, where food and liquids are taken in, and is completed in the small intestine.
Digestion involves the mixing of food, the movement of food through the digestive tract, and the chemical breakdown of large molecules of food into smaller molecules.
In a wave-like movement, called peristalsis, muscles propel food and liquid along the digestive tract. The involvement of the upper GI tract includes the following:
An EGD may be performed to diagnose structural or functional abnormalities of the esophagus, stomach, and/or duodenum. These abnormalities may include, but are not limited to, the following:
An EGD may be performed therapeutically to control bleeding, remove tumors or polyps (growths), dilate narrowed areas in the upper GI tract (e.g., esophagus), remove foreign objects, perform laser therapy, and place a percutaneous gastrostomy tube (a tube used for tube feeding into the stomach).
Tissue or gastrointestinal fluid samples may be obtained via an endoscope. In addition, an EGD may be used to evaluate the stomach and duodenum after a surgery.
There may be other reasons for your physician to recommend an esophagogastroduodenoscopy.
As with any invasive procedure, complications can occur. Some possible complications may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Patients who are allergic to or sensitive to medications, contrast dyes, iodine, shellfish, or latex should notify their physician.
If you are pregnant or suspect that you are pregnant, you should notify your physician.
EGD is contraindicated in patients who have a large aortic aneurysm, Zenker's diverticulum (a herniated pouch in the esophagus), a recent perforated ulcer, or a perforation elsewhere in the GI tract.
There may be other risks depending upon your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your physician prior to the procedure.
Barium within the intestines from a recent barium procedure may interfere with an EGD.
An EGD may be performed on an outpatient basis or as part of your stay in a hospital. Procedures may vary, depending on your condition and your physician’s practices.
Generally, an EGD follows this process:
After the procedure, you will be taken to the recovery room for observation. Once your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing are stable and you are alert, you will be taken to your hospital room or discharged to your home. If this procedure was performed as an outpatient, you should plan to have another person drive you home.
You will not be allowed to eat or drink anything until your gag reflex has returned. You may notice some soreness of your throat and pain with swallowing for a few days. This soreness is normal.
You may resume your usual diet and activities after the procedure, unless your physician decides otherwise.
Notify your physician to report any of the following:
Your physician may give you additional or alternate instructions after the procedure, depending on your particular situation.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. Please consult your physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
This page contains links to other Web sites with information about this procedure and related health conditions. We hope you find these sites helpful. But please remember we do not control or endorse the information presented on these Web sites, nor do these sites endorse the information contained here.
American Cancer Society
American Gastroenterological Association
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Library of Medicine