Upper Endoscopy (Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, EGD)

  • Medical Author:
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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What can I expect during the endoscopy?

Before the procedure the doctor will discuss with the patient why the procedure is being done, whether there are alternative procedures or tests, and what possible complications may result from the endoscopy. Practices vary amongst physicians but the patient may have the throat sprayed with a numbing solution and will probably be given a sedating and pain alleviating medication through a vein. You will be relaxed after receiving this medication (usually midazolam (Versed) for sedation and fentanyl for pain relief) and you may even go to sleep. This form of sedation is called conscious sedation and is usually administered by a nurse who monitors you during the entire procedure. You may also be sedated using propofol, called "deep sedation," usually administered by a nurse anesthetist or anesthesiologist who monitors your vitals during the procedure. After you are sedated while lying on your left side the flexible video endoscope, the thickness of a small finger, is passed through the mouth into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. This procedure will NOT interfere with your breathing. Most patients experience only minimal discomfort during the test and many sleep throughout the entire procedure using conscious sedation. Deep sedation ensures that you feel no discomfort during the entire procedure.

What happens after the endoscopy?

After the test the patient will be observed and monitored by a qualified individual in the endoscopy or a recovery area until a significant portion of the medication has worn off. Occasionally a patient is left with a mild sore throat, which promptly responds to saline gargles, or a feeling of distention from the air that was used during the procedure. Both problems are mild and transient. When fully recovered, the patient will be instructed when to resume their usual diet (probably within a few hours) and the patient's driver will be allowed to take the patient home. (Because of the use of sedation, most facilities mandate that the patient be taken by a driver and not drive, handle machinery, or make important decisions for the remainder of the day.)

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/4/2016

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