Upper endoscopy/EGD is a procedure used to examine the esophagus, stomach, and a portion of the small intestine with a camera-equipped flexible instrument. It is often indicated for patients being evaluated for nausea, weight loss, gastric bleeding or pan, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, or heartburn. The procedure typically lasts 15 to 30 minutes.
Day of the Procedure
We ask that you arrive 90 minutes ahead of your procedure start time to properly prepare. During that time, you will have the opportunity to ask your gastroenterologist and anesthesiologist any questions. An IV catheter will be placed in an arm or hand vein where a conscious sedation medication will be given. Most patients tolerate the procedure well with little memory of the actual procedure. Our goal is to ensure you have a comfortable experience, and we will provide as much sedation as can be safely administered for your individual needs.
Once you are medicated, an instrument will be inserted through the mouth and guided into the small intestine. Your physician may inject water or air to help with the visualization. If abnormal tissue is discovered, it will be biopsied, and photos of the areas will be obtained and reviewed with you. If polyps are removed and biopsied, your physician will discuss this afterward with you and your friend/family member and ask that you refrain from taking aspirin or NSAIDs for several days afterward.
After your procedure, you will be monitored and allowed to recover for approximately 30-60 minutes. You may experience abdominal soreness or feel bloating or cramping due to the air introduced during your test. Almost every patient can resume a normal diet immediately afterward. You will be sent home with a copy of your procedure report and instructions. Your referring physician will receive a copy of the report within the week. As a reminder, since you will be sedated, you are required to have an adult drive you home. A cab, Uber, or Lyft is not sufficient. If you do not have a driver to take you home, your appointment will be canceled/rescheduled. We suggest that you relax for the rest of the day and not attempt to work or drive.
An upper endoscopy is generally safe and complications are rare when performed by a board-certified gastroenterologist. As there is a slight risk that polyp removal may cause bleeding, you should take no aspirin, arthritis pills (other than acetaminophen/Tylenol), or other blood thinners for several days afterward. Your physician will inform you when you can resume these types of medications. Please call immediately if after the procedure you develop fever, significant pain, or bleeding.