Learn about Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) at Advanced Gastro Center for Patients in New Jersey
Overview of EGD
An esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) involves the insertion of an endoscope into the mouth in order to inspect the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract. As the name implies, an EGD will look at the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, the name for the part of the small intestine just beyond the stomach. In some instances, an EGD will be combined with a colonoscopy, which allows a view of the lower GI system. Gastroenterologists use EGDs for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
Indications for EGD
An EGD may be undertaken for a large variety of reasons. Since the procedure offers a view of several portions of the upper GI tract, there are a number of situations in which an EGD could be beneficial. These range from problems with the esophagus – like a hiatal hernia or Barrett’s esophagus – to generalized symptoms, such as chronic abdominal pain.
Your gastroenterologist may also order an EGD as an interventional procedure. This means they intend to do more than only look at your upper GI anatomy during your EGD procedure. Examples of interventions that can occur during an EGD include esophageal dilation, obtaining stomach biopsies, and addressing any sources of bleeding.
Although EGDs are sometimes performed on hospitalized patients, the vast majority of these procedures are done on an outpatient basis. For outpatients, an EGD is almost always a same day procedure, meaning you won’t need to stay overnight in the clinic or hospital.
Preparation: New Jersey Advanced Gastro Center gastroenterologist’s office will provide you with complete EDG preparation instructions, but here are some general points. You’ll need to let your gastroenterologist know about any and all medications, vitamins, and supplements you’re taking. You may be instructed to stop some of these up to a week before your EGD.
You will usually need to refrain from eating about eight hours before your EGD. Typically, you can drink clear liquids until a few hours before the procedure. Also, be sure that you have a responsible adult on hand to take you home after your procedure as you won’t be able to drive yourself.
Anesthesia: EGDs are usually done under conscious sedation. This means that you’ll receive sedation through an IV but you won’t be completely under as with general anesthesia. You will likely have no memory of the procedure, and you’ll be monitored the entire time by an anesthesiologist and/or nurse anesthetist. Your gastroenterologist may also use a local anesthetic on your throat, typically in the form of a numbing spray.
EGD: You’ll have a chance to speak with your gastroenterologist and the procedure team before your EGD begins. When it’s time to start, a bite block will be inserted into your mouth so that your gastroenterologist is able to freely move the endoscope. Then you’ll receive IV sedation.
The actual EGD procedure typically takes less than 45 minutes. Your gastroenterologist will slowly advance the endoscope through your upper GI tract, using video to check vital structures and areas along the way. There may also be interventions performed, such as dilating your esophagus. Additionally, biopsies are often taken to check for cancer or H. pylori, a type of bacteria associated with stomach ulcers.
Recovery from EGD
Once your EGD is concluded, you’ll be moved to a recovery area to awaken. Here, you’ll be monitored by nursing staff to make certain you’re doing well and are ready to be released. In the vast majority of cases you’ll be able to return home the same day with your driver.
Your gastroenterologist’s office will provide you with complete EGD postprocedure instructions. These will include signs to watch for and when to call your gastroenterologist. Your EGD results will likely be ready in a few days, although any pathology reports may take a week or more to be available. It’s important to keep any follow-up appointments you have scheduled with your gastroenterologist.