Upper GI Endoscopy

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), also known as Upper Endoscopy, is a procedure that enables the physician to perform a visual examination of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). A thin, flexible instrument, known as an endoscope (or gastroscope), is introduced through the mouth and into the swallowing tube, or esophagus. This procedure is used to identify the cause of swallowing difficulties, nausea, vomiting, reflux, indigestion, abdominal pain, or chest pain.

Patients should prepare for this procedure the day before coming in to the facility. Please see our preparation instructions, also available on this web site.

An IV line is started and the patient is given pain medication and a mild sedative to help them relax. In addition, the patient may receive a topical anesthetic (numbing spray) in their throat to help prevent gagging. The patient is positioned on their left side, and the instrument is introduced through the mouth and into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. Air is blown through the instrument into the stomach to assist the physician in viewing the lining and other structures. Because the instrument is very thin (about the thickness of a finger), it does not interfere with normal breathing. Most patients only experience minimal discomfort during the procedure, with the most common side effect being a mild sore throat.

EGD allows physicians to view abnormalities, like ulcers or tumors, which do not show up well on x-rays. Other advantages include the ability to remove small tissue samples (biopsies) or obtain some cells with a small brush (cytology), which can be sent to the laboratory for microscopic evaluation. The endoscope can also be used to treat certain digestive conditions, such as stretching areas of narrowing within the esophagus, removing benign growths or polyps, and controlling gastrointestinal bleeding.

The EGD procedure usually takes about 20-30 minutes. When the test is complete, the patient is allowed to recover until most of the medication has worn off. Because sedation is used, the patient is not allowed to drive. Patients should bring a friend or a relative to drive them home. Most patients can resume their normal diet and activities a few hours after the procedure. If biopsies are taken, it may take 3-4 days to get the results.



Metro Atlanta Gastroenterology, LLC
(404) 255-4333 • 5669 Peachtree Dunwoody Road • Suite 210 • Atlanta, GA 30342