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Stomach diagram highlighting the stomach in a human body to show where upper endscopy is done


The Basics

An upper endoscopy is also called an EGD (Esophagogastroduodenoscopy).  An endoscope is used to look inside the upper digestive system which consists of the esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the duodenum (small intestine).  The scope is passed through the mouth, down the esophagus, and into the stomach.  To be certain you are comfortable, you will receive IV sedation.  Most patients sleep during the entire procedure and wake up feeling as though they have had a good night’s sleep!


How to Prepare

It is imperative that the stomach must be empty of any food or liquid after midnight the night before the procedure.  Certain medications may need to be stopped prior to the procedure.   Unless otherwise instructed continue taking any regularly-prescribed medication.  You must bring a responsible adult (18 years or older) with you that can stay throughout the procedure process and that can drive you home.


What to Expect During Your Procedure

You will be asked to remove all clothing from the waist up including any belt or jewelry.  You will be given a patient gown to wear.

The doctor will talk with you prior to the start of the procedure.

When it is time to start, you will be taken into the procedure room and asked to turn on to your left side.  For safety, a bite block is placed into your mouth.  Sedation is given through the IV by a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).   Once the sedation takes effect, the endoscope is gently guided through the mouth, down the esophagus, into the stomach, and to the very top of the small intestine.  The doctor can visualize the lining on a video monitor as the scope makes its way to the small intestine.  If the doctor needs to take any biopsies a small instrument is placed down the scope and tissue samples are taken to be sent to the laboratory for analysis.  The procedure will usually last about 10 to 20 minutes.  When the procedure is complete you will be taken to the recovery area.


After the Procedure

A nurse will monitor you for a minimum of 30 minutes as anesthesia wears off.  Liquids will not be given until the anesthesia has worn off and the gag reflex has returned.  You may feel a little gassy or bloated which will subside.  Your responsible adult will be at the bedside when the doctor speaks with you about the findings of the procedure.  Discharge instructions will be reviewed and questions answered.

You may feel normal as you leave the office, but sedation has lingering and often subtle effects. Please do not drive or do any activity requiring alertness.