Upper Endoscopy

What is an EGD?

An EGD, also known as an upper endoscopy or esophagogastroduodenoscopy, utilizes a thin, flexible tube equipped with a light and camera to visualize the inside of the upper digestive tract, encompassing the esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). This outpatient procedure can also be performed in hospitals or emergency rooms to diagnose and treat conditions like upper digestive system bleeding.

Why is an EGD Performed?

This procedure is commonly used to investigate the causes of various symptoms, including:
  • Anemia

  • Black or tarry stools

  • Chronic heartburn

  • Persistent nausea and vomiting

  • Blood in vomit

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Abdominal pain

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Unusual feeling of fullness

  • Sensation of food being stuck behind the breastbone

Endoscopy additionally aids in identifying inflammation, ulcers, and tumors. Compared to X-rays, upper endoscopy proves more accurate for detecting abnormal growths, such as cancer, and for examining the upper digestive tract’s internal lining. Furthermore, abnormalities can be addressed through the endoscope itself. For example:

  • Polyps (tissue growths) in the stomach can be identified and removed, and tissue samples (biopsies) can be collected for analysis.

  • Narrowed areas or strictures in the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum resulting from cancer or other diseases can be dilated or stretched using balloons or similar devices. In some cases, a stent (a wire or plastic mesh tube) can be inserted into the structure to prop it open.

  • Objects stuck in the esophagus or stomach can be safely removed.

  • Bleeding due to ulcers, cancer, or varices can be treated.

How to Prepare for an Upper Endoscopy:

Before undergoing an upper endoscopy, it is crucial to inform your doctor about any of the following:
  • Pregnancy

  • Lung or heart conditions

  • Use of blood thinners or presence of a bleeding disorder

  • Medication allergies

Certain medications for high blood pressure, heart conditions, or thyroid problems can be taken with a small amount of water before the procedure. If you have diabetes and use insulin, your insulin dosage might need adjustment on the day of the test. Your diabetes healthcare provider will assist you with this modification. Remember to bring your diabetes medication to your appointment for post-procedure administration.
Fasting before the test is generally recommended to minimize the risk of aspiration during the endoscopy. Additionally, arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure, as the sedatives used can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired judgment, making it unsafe to drive or operate machinery for up to 8 hours following the procedure.
“Thank you for visiting Forest Hills Gastroenterology & Liver Disease, my goal is to treat my patients in a highly personalized manner and I am dedicated to give you the utmost attention and respect that you deserve. For more infromation on this disease or to schedule a consultation with me, please give us a call or book a tele-health appointment online.”

Albert Shalomov

Dr. Albert Shalomov, MD