Upper GI Endoscopy
MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT: An Upper GI Endoscopy, also called an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or EGD, is a procedure that allows your doctor to view the mucosal lining of the upper portion of your gastrointestinal tract. This includes your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. Upper endoscopy is used to evaluate symptoms of persistent upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bleeding, or difficulty swallowing. It can accurately detect inflammation, infections, tumors, ulcers, and other problems that may be present. The procedure is performed using an endoscope, which is a long, thin, flexible tube with a light, and a tiny video camera attached to the end. The camera transmits an image to a monitor. Before the endoscopy, an intravenous line will be started, and you will be offered pain medication and a sedative. Your blood pressure, pulse, and the oxygen level in your blood will be monitored during the procedure. Your doctor may spray your throat, or have you gargle with a local anesthetic that will numb it. You will be asked to lie on your left side, and a supportive mouthpiece will be placed in your mouth. In some cases, you may be given supplemental oxygen through a nasal cannula. Uncomplicated upper endoscopies take between 10 and 20 minutes. Your doctor will gently insert the endoscope through your mouth, and then slowly and carefully move it down your esophagus until it reaches your stomach. And finally, your duodenum. You should feel no pain as this is happening. Your doctor may periodically introduce a small amount of air to flatten the mucosal lining and improve visibility. If your doctor would like to collect a sample of tissue, he or she will obtain one or more biopsies through the endoscope for later examination. A biopsy will help distinguish between benign and cancerous tissues. It is also used to detect Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium that may lead to ulcers. Your doctor may also use the endoscope to treat a problem such as an actively bleeding ulcer, or to stretch open a stricture, or narrowing, in the esophagus or stomach. After the procedure, you will be monitored until the effects of the medications have worn off. Your throat may be sore, and you may feel a bit bloated. You will need to arrange for a ride home afterwards.