Skip to Content

Upper Endoscopy/EGD

What is an Upper Endoscopy?

The doctor uses a short tube with a light on it to look inside the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (first part of the small intestine).  The doctor can look and take samples of any bleeding, inflamed tissue, abnormal growths, ulcers, or infection. Any samples will be sent to a lab and a report will be sent to your doctor.  The upper endoscopy takes 10-15 minutes but you will spend up to 3 hours from the time you are admitted until the time you go home.  You will be given medicine to make you sleepy for the test so you must have someone else drive you home.  Upper Endoscopy is also called EGD which stands for esophagastroduodenoscopy or upper GI.

Why have an Upper Endoscopy done?

The doctor can look for reasons why you might be having problems swallowing, or having nausea, vomiting, bleeding, indigestion, or pain in your chest or abdomen.

How do I get ready for an Upper Endoscopy?

Your stomach and duodenum must be empty for the test so it is safe to do and the doctor can see clearly.  You will not be able to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the procedure.

What happens during the Upper Endoscopy?

The nurse will give you special medicine to gargle with or will spray the back of your throat so you won’t gag during the test. You will be asked to lie on your left side.  Medicine will be given in your IV to make you sleepy so you won’t hurt or remember the procedure.  The doctor will insert the tube and slowly guide it to your small intestine. Air is blown into your stomach to help the doctor see better.  The doctor may take a sample but you won’t feel this.

What happens after the Upper Endoscopy?

Since air was put in your stomach, you may burp for a while or feel bloated.  Because of the medicine you were given, you won’t remember the doctor talking to you after the procedure.  This is normal and everything will be written down for you. You may have a mild sore throat for a day or two.   Even if you are still a little sleepy, you will be able to go home.  The best thing is to go home and take a nap.  If you are hungry, you can eat a light meal.

Are there complications?

Upper endoscopy is safe when done by trained doctors.  One complication is a tear in the lining of the stomach.  This is very rare. Another is bleeding from where a sample was taken.