Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a test to examine the lining of the esophagus (the tube that connects your throat to your stomach), stomach, and first part of the small intestine. It is done with a small camera (flexible endoscope) that is inserted down the throat.
You will receive a sedative and a painkiller (analgesic). You should feel no pain and not remember the procedure. A local anesthetic may be sprayed into your mouth to prevent you from coughing or gagging when the endoscope is inserted. A mouth guard will be inserted to protect your teeth and the endoscope. Dentures must be removed.
In most cases, a needle (IV) will be inserted into a vein in your arm to give you medications during the procedure.
You will be instructed to lie on your left side.
After the sedatives have taken effect:
The endoscope is inserted through the esophagus (food pipe) to the stomach and duodenum. Air is put into the endoscope to make it easier for the doctor to see.
The lining of the esophagus, stomach, and upper duodenum is examined. Biopsies can be taken through the endoscope. Biopsies are tissue samples that are looked at under the microscope.
Different treatments may be done, such as stretching or widening a narrowed area of the esophagus.
After the test is finished, you will not be able to have foods and liquids until your gag reflex returns (so you don't choke).
The test lasts about 5 - 20 minutes.
How to prepare for the test
You will not be able to eat anything for 6 - 12 hours before the test. You must sign an informed consent form. You may be told to stop taking aspirin and other blood-thinning medicines for several days before the test.
How the test will feel
The local anesthetic makes swallowing difficult. This wears off shortly after the procedure. The endoscope may make you gag.
You may feel gas, and the movement of the scope in your abdomen. You will not be able to feel the biopsy. Because of the sedation, you may not feel any discomfort and have no memory of the test.
When you wake up, you may feel a little bloated from the air that was put into your body through the endoscope. This feeling will wear off in a short period of time.
Why the test is performed
EGD may be done if you have symptoms that are new, cannot be explained, or are not responding to treatment, such as:
Todd Eisner, MD, Private practice specializing in Gastroenterology, Boca Raton, FL, Clinical Instructor, Florida Atlantic University School of Medicine. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.