Upper Endoscopy

Diagnostic Procedure for Stomach Pains

An upper endoscopy, also known as an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a diagnostic procedure used to examine the esophagus, duodenum, and stomach. Using a small, flexible tube called an endoscope, the doctor obtains real-time video feed of the body’s internal structures, assisting him or her to diagnose the cause of abdominal pain, vomiting, acid reflux, and swallowing disorders.

Detection and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Abnormalities

Like many digestive health procedures, you will need to fast for several hours before the procedure. When they arrive at the hospital or clinic, most patients are provided with sedation to help them relax, meaning you will need to have someone available to drive you home afterward.

The endoscope enters the throat through the mouth and then continues down into the stomach and duodenum. Images from the endoscope’s camera will be displayed on a nearby monitor, allowing the doctor to examine the inner lining of the stomach and check for abnormalities.

EGDs are a valuable tool for:

  • Detecting and removing potentially cancerous polyps
  • Esophageal dilation of a narrowed esophagus
  • Removing blockages in the throat or stomach
  • Repairing bleeding ulcers
  • Locating tumors
  • Performing biopsies
  • Avoiding X-rays to mitigate a patient’s radiation exposure
  • Diagnosing the cause of nausea, vomiting, and chest and stomach pains

One of the major benefits of EGDs is that they can perform minimally invasive treatments. If a doctor finds something that needs to be treated or removed right away, they can insert small tools through the endoscope to perform the procedure. This avoids the risks and complications of open surgery.

After the Procedure

EGDs are fairly common procedures and do not take more than 30 minutes, in most cases. You should prepare to spend several hours at the hospital or clinic to fill out paperwork and recover from sedation. A bloated sensation is a common side effect when the procedure has concluded, but this can be improved by belching.

Your doctor will discuss the results with you after the procedure or during a follow-up appointment. If a biopsy was taken, it may take several days for the final results to come in.

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