Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)

What is an EGD?

An EGD is a procedure that a gastroenterologist uses to visualize the inside lining of your esophagus, stomach, and first part of your small intestine (duodenum). A flexible tube with a light and video camera (an endoscope) is inserted through the patient's mouth during the procedure. This is usually an outpatient procedure.

Will I be asleep?

Most likely. Patients are usually asleep for the test. There are few exceptions. The medicine that we give to help you fall asleep is not general anesthesia that is used during surgery. We have anesthesiologists give patients either Total Intravenous Anesthesia (TIVA) or, in some cases, "conscious sedation". Rarely, patients will have vague memories of the procedure.

Why is an EGD done and what can physicians do during the procedure?

Your doctor may choose to do an EGD for many reasons. Some reasons are:

  • Evaluation of upper abdominal pain
  • Evaluation of long-term reflux disease to rule out a pre-cancerous condition called Barrett's Esophagus
  • Evaluation of chest pain that is known to NOT be heart-related
  • Evaluation of difficulty swallowing
  • Evaluation of patients who might have black stools or bleeding

During the test, your physician can:

  • Search for ulcers
  • Search for pre-cancerous conditions
  • Remove small polyps
  • Stop internal bleeding by applying heat or injecting medications
  • Biopsies are also routinely taken to rule out infections, wheat allergy, cancers, and other conditions.

What are the side effects of the procedure?

The procedure is very safe. Complications are uncommon. However, like all medical procedures, some complications can arise. Complications that can happen include:

  • Bleeding or Continued Bleeding (sometimes, it is not possible to stop a bleed through an EGD and surgery might be required)
  • Infection(s)
  • Perforation (a poked hole). This would be serious and might require surgery.
  • Infection at the IV site
  • Allergic reactions to medications given
  • Missing an ulcer, mass, or polyp.
  • Patients who have other underlying diseases can have complications of the underlying disease during the procedure

verall, the procedure is extremely safe and complications are rare.

Do I need a ride after the test?

Yes. We also recommend that patients not work or make any significant decisions after the test. The medicines that we give during the test often make patients temporarily forgetful. Patients should plan to have someone with them at home for the rest of the day.

When will I know my test results?

There is some information the physician can give you right away after the test. If a biopsy has been taken, it might take up to a week for the physician to get those results back. The biopsy results will be shared with you at your follow-up appointment.