Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (Upper Endoscopy – EGD) is an outpatient procedure that allows the gastroenterologist to look at the upper part of gastrointestinal tract: from the mouth to the small intestine (second portion of duodenum).
The team at Gastroenterology Associates understands the apprehension many patients experience when they are told they need to undergo an upper endoscopy. However, we have put into place a process that makes the experience as comfortable and stress free as possible. We provide you with a soothing environment at one of our ambulatory care facilities facility fully accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).
We believe our patients deserve the best, and when you see an AAAHC certificate of accreditation, it means that the organization has closely examined our affiliated facilities and procedure practices. It means we care enough about our patients to strive for the highest level of care possible and only work within an AAAHC center.
You will be given full individualized instructions on your endoscopic procedure prior to your appointment. Be sure to call us if you have any further questions or concerns prior to the appointment. Once you arrive, you’ll receive personalized care from our staff, which are willing to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
The Upper GI Endoscopy procedure itself is described below:
After putting the patient under moderate sedation, a long and flexible tube (about the diameter of a finger) that carries a camera, will be sent through the digestive system and the doctor will be able to see the images on their computer screen. This procedure has to be done by a gastroenterologist in an outpatient surgical center or hospital and takes about 20-30 minutes.
There is wide range of indications for doing EGD:
- Accurate evaluation and investigation of upper GI symptoms especially if other diagnostic tools did not reveal a cause for the symptoms. Many patients are categorized in this group (eg: GERD, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, etc).
- Diagnostic purposes. Diagnostic testing may reveal a need to have a biopsy from an ulcer, polyp or mass. A patient has been diagnosed with anemia and may need the testing to reveal a source for anemia.
- Screening for patients with a history of cancer or per-cancerous conditions (Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal cancer, stomach ulcer)
- Therapeutic purposes (eg: banding of bleeding varices, dilation of narrowing ring, removal of foreign substance).
It is important that the upper GI tract be flushed and empty prior to having procedure done. Please click here for EGD preparation instructions.
Patient must fast for 4-6 hours prior to the procedure. Always discuss your current medications with the gastroenterologist and do not stop any medications unless instructed to do so by the doctor. Do not stop taking your blood thinners until the gastroenterologist gives you instructions to do so (usually 5 days prior to the procedure). The patient must have an adult to drive them home as they may still be under the influence of anesthesia after the procedure.
Before any EGD, the patient’s full health history will be reviewed. Several tests will be performed, including a blood test and EKG. Daily medication will be reviewed and there may be changes to the medications. All patients must sign a consent form before undergoing an EGD.
On the day of the EGD, the patient should arrive one hour ahead of the procedure time. After filling out paperwork, the patient will be asked to change into a hospital gown. Dentures should be removed before the procedure. An IV line (needle will be placed in vein) will be inserted, so medication can be delivered intravenously. During the procedure, all vitals (blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate) will be monitored. A sedative /narcotic may be given so the patient can relax during the procedure. The patient is placed on their left side. A plastic mouth guard is placed in the mouth to prevent damage to the teeth during the procedure. The endoscope (flexible tube that is equipped with a light and camera at the end) will be inserted into the mouth and guided by the gastroenterologist. Images will appear on the doctor’s computer screen as he moves the scope throughout the tract. If a polyp is found during the procedure, the doctor may remove it to send for pathology testing.
After the endoscopy the patient will be taken to a recovery room. We would like the patient to relax for the rest of the day.
It is normal to have some temporary, mild and uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, sore throat or cramping. Patient should contact their doctor if they experience severe continuous abdominal pain, distended abdomen without any change, continuous vomiting, black stool, shortness of breath or fever. Like most procedures there are rare but serious complications. If the patient experiences food aspiration (food becomes lodged in the throat or lung), perforation, infection, bleeding at site of biopsy or polyp removal or reaction to sedative they should contact their doctor immediately. The doctor should review the results with the patient within 2 weeks.
Our center utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach to your healthcare, which means that patients benefit from the combined expertise of physicians who have the knowledge, perspective and experience to address all aspects of your complete gastroenterological care.
We offer the most advanced diagnostic techniques and treatments for a wide variety of gastroenterological conditions. We also offer a full range of diagnostic procedures, as well as medical, surgical and minimally invasive treatment options to meet the individual needs of patients with gastroenterological conditions of any kind. Contact us if you are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that have not yet been addressed by our physicians.