What is the purpose of an EGD - Upper Endoscopy?

An Upper GI Endoscopy gives your doctor a picture of your digestive system that cannot be seen through normal X-rays.

Your gastroenterologist will use the Upper GI Endoscopy to look for health issues and take tissue samples to find health problems, such as:

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Ulcers
  • Cancer or a tumor
  • Swelling
  • Celiac Disease
  • Low iron
  • Nutritional deficiencies

An Upper GI Endoscopy can also be used to figure out why you are having certain symptoms, such as:

  • Heartburn that won't go away
  • Bleeding
  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach that won't go away
  • Pain
  • Losing weight (when you aren't trying to)
  • Problems swallowing

Additionally, an Upper GI Endoscopy can be used to treat certain health issues, such as:

  • Bleeding ulcers and blood vessels
  • Strictures (narrowing)
  • Objects or foods that are stuck

Preparation

To properly prepare for your procedure, you may need to make certain changes to your daily medication routine.

  • If you take insulin, consult with your physician about making any necessary changes in your daily regimen
  • If you take medications that contain aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Motrin, Advil, Indocin), we recommend that you stop taking them 7 days before your procedure. They may increase your risk of bleeding after removal of a polyp or a biopsy during your upper GI endoscopy by interfering with the normal clotting of your blood.
  • If you are currently taking Coumadin, Xarelto, Plavix, Eliquis or any other blood thinner, you must check with your prescribing physician before changing or interrupting your daily routine.
  • Certain medications should be continued prior to your upper GI endoscopy. If you take cardiac (heart) or anti-hypertensive (high blood pressure) pills, take them as you normally do with small sips of water.
  • Bring a list of all your medications (prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and eye drops) with you on the day of your procedure. You may bring the medication bottles themselves.
  • Be prepared to list and describe your allergies and reactions to any medications.
  • Because you will receive a relaxing medication during your procedure, you must arrange to have a responsible adult pick you up and/or accompany you home if you will take public transportation. You may not operate an automobile or other mechanical equipment until the day following your procedure.
  • To ensure the most accurate results possible, it is important that you do not eat or drink anything after midnight on the day before your procedure. The exception is medication taken with small sips of water.

The Day of Your Procedure

On the day of your upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, plan to spend several hours at the unit to allow time for your preparation, procedure, and recovery.

Before the procedure, a nurse will greet you and assist with changing into a hospital gown. An IV will be placed in your arm. You will receive relaxing medications through the IV during the procedure. You will be lying on your side during the upper endoscopy and the endoscope will be passed through your mouth and throat to view the upper digestive tract. Depending on the findings of the exam, several things can be done at the time of the procedure including biopsies, removal of polyps, and control of bleeding. The procedure takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes to complete.


Recovery

After the upper endoscopy, you will be taken to the recovery area where you will be monitored until most of the effects of the relaxing medications have worn off. You may have some cramping or bloating as a result of the procedure.

You will not be allowed to drive for the rest of the day; therefore, you will need to arrange for a ride home. You will also be instructed not to work, sign important papers, or perform strenuous activities for the rest of the day. Most patients are able to eat and drink normally after their discharge from the Endoscopy unit; however, specific instructions regarding activity, eating, and medications will be given to the patient prior to discharge.

You should call the office at (714) 778-1300 to schedule a follow-up appointment within 2 weeks of your procedure. The results of the procedure and the follow-up plan will be discussed at the follow-up visit.


For additional information, click on the link below to view a PDF created by the A.G.A. for this procedure.

EGD - Upper Endoscopy