Upper endoscopy enables the doctor to look inside the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). The procedure might be used to discover the reason for swallowing difficulties, nausea, vomiting, reflux, bleeding, indigestion, abdominal pain, or chest pain. Upper endoscopy is also called EGD, which stands for esophagogastroduodenoscopy.
For the procedure, after you are sedated with intravenous medications, a thin, flexible, lighted tube called an endoscope is inserted into your mouth and advanced down you upper intestinal tract. The endoscope transmits an image of the inside of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, so Dr. Tabib can carefully examine the lining of these organs. The scope also blows air into the stomach; this expands the folds of tissue and makes it easier for him to examine the stomach.
The doctor can see abnormalities, like inflammation or bleeding, through the endoscope that don't show up well on x rays. Instruments can also be inserted into the scope to treat bleeding abnormalities or remove samples of tissue (biopsy) for further tests.
Possible complications of upper endoscopy include bleeding and puncture of the stomach lining. However, such complications are rare.
The procedure usually takes 5 to 10 minutes. Because you will be sedated, you will need to rest at the endoscopy facility for a short period of time until the medication wears off and you are ready to go home.
Your stomach and duodenum must be empty for the procedure to be thorough and safe, so you will not be able to eat or drink anything beforehand. Also, you must arrange for someone to take you home—you will not be allowed to drive because of the sedatives. Dr. Tabib may give you other special instructions.