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EGD - esophagogastroduodenoscopy

Definition

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a test to examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine.

Alternative Names

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy; Upper endoscopy; Gastroscopy

How the Test is Performed

EGD is done in the hospital or medical center. The procedure uses an endoscope. This is a flexible tube with a camera at the end.

The procedure is done as follows:

After the test is finished, you will not be able to have food and liquid until your gag reflex returns (so you do not choke).

The test lasts about 5 to 20 minutes.

How to Prepare for the Test

You will not be able to eat anything for 6 to 12 hours before the test. Follow instructions about stopping aspirin and other blood-thinning medicines before the test.

How the Test will Feel

The anesthetic spray makes it hard to swallow. This wears off shortly after the procedure. The scope may make you gag.

You may feel gas and the movement of the scope in your abdomen. You will not be able to feel the biopsy. Because of sedation, you may not feel any discomfort and have no memory of the test.

You may feel bloated from the air that was put into your body. This feeling soon wears off.

Why the Test is Performed

EGD may be done if you have symptoms that are new, cannot be explained, or are not responding to treatment, such as:

Your doctor may also order this test if you:

The test may also be used to take a piece of tissue for biopsy.

Normal Results

The esophagus, stomach, and duodenum should be smooth and of normal color. There should be no bleeding, growths, ulcers, or inflammation.

What Abnormal Results Mean

An abnormal EGD may be the result of:

Risks

There is a small chance of a hole (perforation) in the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus from the scope moving through these areas. There is also a small risk of bleeding at the biopsy site.

You could have a reaction to the medicine used during the procedure, which could cause:

References

Pasricha PJ. Gastrointestinal endoscopy. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 136.

Zurad EG. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy. In: Pfenninger JL, Fowler GC, eds. Pfenninger & Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Mosby; 2010:chap 101.


Review Date: 10/14/2013
Reviewed By: George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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