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Upper Endoscopy

An upper Endoscopy is a procedure used to visually examine the upper digestive system (esophagus, stomach, and duodenum). The procedure may be used to discover the reason for swallowing difficulties, nausea, vomiting, reflux, bleeding, indigestion, abdominal pain, or chest pain. Upper Endoscopy is sometimes referred to as EGD, which stands for esophagogastroduodenoscopy (eh-SAH-fuh-goh-GAS-troh-doo-AH-duh-NAH-skuh-pee).

The Procedure

During the endoscopy the patient swallows a thin, flexible, tube with a tiny camera attached called an endoscope (EN-doh-skope). The procedure will take approximately 30 minutes, however patients should plan to be with us until awake & taking fluids (1-2 hours maximum).

Prior to the procedure an anesthesia provider will administer sedation to minimize discomfort.

Once the procedure is underway, the physician uses the endoscope to transmit an image of the inside of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum to a nearby monitor. Air is inserted into the stomach through the scope allowing for more thorough examination of the stomach folds and lining.

If the physician finds anything unusual during the exam such as an ulcer, or inflamed tissue, a biopsy that removes a small piece of the affected tissue will be performed and sent to the lab for testing.

 

Endoscopy

Preparing for Your Appointment

For the physician to complete a safe and thorough procedure the patient’s stomach and duodenum must be completely empty.

The patient MUST:

  • refrain from eating or drinking for at least 8 hours before the procedure.
  • arrange for someone to take you home after the procedure.

On the day of your endoscopy please follow preparation instructions given to you for your scheduled exam.

It is important to bring with you the following items:

  • Medication list
  • Allergy list
  • Medical problems and surgery list
  • Insurance information

After Your Appointment

After your endoscopy you will be observed closely by the nurses until you are awake. Many people do not even remember the procedure due to the sedative medication. Before you leave you doctor will address any preliminary findings with you then the nursing staff will assess that you are ready to leave and give you your final instructions.

DO NOT:

  • drive or operate mechanical equipment until the next day.
  • Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours.

 

Risks

Bleeding and puncture of the stomach lining are possible complications of an endoscopy, however, such complications are extremely rare. Most patients will probably suffer from nothing more than a mild sore throat following the procedure.

 

Results

A full report of any findings will be sent to your personal physician and biopsy results are usually available 7-10 working days