EGD or Upper endoscopy
An EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) is a procedure where a surgeon passes a flexible camera about the size of your little finger in the mouth down into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. It is usually performed under moderate sedation where the patient is sleeping but able to breathe on their own. Patients wake up with no pain and no recollection of the procedure.
Who should have an EGD?
If you have symptoms such as upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, or heartburn, you may benefit from an EGD. An EGD is a great method for detecting complications from GERD (reflux) such as esophagitis, esophageal ulcers, esophageal strictures, Barrett’s esophagus (see GERD page), and esophageal cancer. An EGD is also extremely accurate in determining the source of blood-loss anemia, such as from ulcer disease, gastritis, and vascular abnormalities.
Special instruments may be used through the scope to diagnose and treat different diseases. These include biopsy forceps (biopsy tissue), balloons (dilate strictures), cautery (to burn bleeding lesions), clips (to clip bleeding lesions), and more.
Preparation for an EGD
The stomach should be empty. Nothing to eat 8 hours before the procedure is required. Clear liquids are allowed up to 4 hours before the procedure, and medications are permitted the day of the surgery with small sips of water. Generally, diabetic medications should be held the night before and the morning of the surgery.