The procedure uses an endoscope. This is a flexible tube with a light and camera at the end.
The procedure is done as follows:
You receive medicine into a vein to help you relax. You should feel no pain and not remember the procedure. A local anesthetic may be sprayed into your mouth to prevent you from coughing or gagging when the scope is inserted. A mouth guard is used to protect your teeth and the scope. Dentures must be removed before the procedure begins.
You then lie on your left side.
The scope is inserted through the esophagus (food pipe) to the stomach and duodenum. Air is put through the scope to make it easier for the doctor to see.
The lining of the esophagus, stomach, and upper duodenum is examined. Biopsies can be taken through the scope. Biopsies are tissue samples that are looked at under the microscope. Different treatments may be done, such as stretching or widening a narrowed area of the esophagus. After the test is finished, you will not be able to have food and liquid until your gag reflex returns (so you do not choke).
The test lasts about 5 to 20 minutes.
Why the test is performed
EGD may be done if you have symptoms that are new, cannot be explained, or are not responding to treatment, such as:
Black or tarry stools or vomiting blood
Bringing food back up (regurgitation)
Feeling full sooner than normal or after eating less than usual
Feeling like food is stuck behind the breastbone
Low blood count (anemia) that cannot be explained
Pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen
Swallowing problems or pain with swallowing
Weight loss that cannot be explained
Nausea or vomiting that does not go away
Your doctor may also order this test if you:
Have cirrhosis of the liver, to look for swollen veins (called varices) in the walls of the lower part of the esophagus, which may begin to bleed
Have Crohn disease.
Need more follow-up or treatment for a condition that has been diagnosed
The test may also be used to take a piece of tissue for biopsy.