A Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (Or EGD) is a procedure that allows a gastroenterologist to view the inner lining of a patient’s esophagus or stomach. The procedure is performed using a thin, flexible tube (an endoscope) that is slowly guided through the esophagus. The end of the endoscope is lighted and includes a camera that transmits images onto a screen in the procedure room.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Where is the upper gastrointestinal tract and why is it important?
A. The upper gastrointestinal tract begins with the mouth and continues with the esophagus (food tube) which carries food to the stomach. The acid in the stomach churns food into small particles. The food particles then enter the duodenum, or small bowel, where bile from the liver and digestive juices from the pancreas mixes with it to help the digestive process. Both bile and enzymes are needed to digest food, so it is important to diagnose any problems as quickly as possible.
Q. Is any preparation necessary before the procedure?
A. It is important not to eat or drink anything for at least eight hours before the exam. Your physician will give you instructions about the use of regular medications, including blood thinners, before the exam. Because of the mild sedation, you are not allowed to drive, operate heavy machinery or make any important decisions for up to six hours following the exam. It’s important to have someone with you to drive you home.
Q. What happens during the EGD procedure?
A. First, your physician will anesthetize your throat with a spray or liquid. The endoscope is then gently inserted into the upper esophagus. The exam takes from 15 to 30 minutes, and then you are taken to the recovery area. There is no pain with the procedure and patients seldom remember much about it.
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