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More on Endoscopy

Upper Endoscopy
(Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, EGD) (cont.)

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.