What is an Upper Endoscopy?
An upper endoscopy (EGD) is a procedure a doctor uses to visually see the inner lining of the upper digestive tract. This test is used to diagnose or treat conditions that affect the upper part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, including the esophagus, stomach and beginning of the small intestine called the duodenum.
Your doctor may wish for you to undergo this test for the following reasons:
- To help him or her to determine the cause of your digestive symptoms such as nausea, pain, cramping, bleeding or more.
- For diagnosing diseases or conditions related to the digestive system.
- To treat problems with the digestive system such as polyps, a narrow esophagus or bleeding.
Sometimes, an upper endoscopy is also combined with other procedures such as an ultrasound. This can help your doctor to see images of the stomach, wall of the esophagus or hard-to-reach organs.
How is an Upper Endoscopy Performed?
During an upper endoscopy, you will lie down on the exam table on your back or side and will be given a sedative or general anesthesia through an IV. A long, flexible tube called an endoscope will then be inserted into your mouth and down your throat (this should not be painful). A small camera on the top of the endoscope will send images to a video monitor, which will allow your doctor to look for irregulates in the digestive tract. Special surgical tools may be passed through the endoscope in order to collect tissue samples or remove polyps. This procedure usually takes 15-30 minutes to complete.
Following Upper Endoscopy
After your upper endoscopy, you will rest in a recovery area while you wait for your sedative or anesthesia to wear off. Your doctor will then let you know when you can return home with your pre-arranged driver. Once you are home, you may experience mild bloating, cramping or sore throat, which will improve with time. If you have any concerns or experiencing pain, please do not hesitate to contact our office. If your doctor approves, you will be able to return to your regular activities the following day.
How Do I Prepare for My Procedure?
Your doctor will give you special instructions on how to prepare for your upper endoscopy. While these instructions may differ from doctor to doctor, they will generally involve the following:
- Fasting 4-8 hours before your test. This is because the stomach must be empty for this procedure.
- You may need to stop taking certain blood-thinning medications before your test. Please consult your doctor concerning these medications, as well as diabetes medications.
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At South Denver GI, our team of physicians and advanced practice providers have the expertise to provide you with outstanding care. If you would like to learn more about Upper Endoscopy (EGD) or need to schedule an appointment at our office, contact us today!
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