Learn about Upper GI Endoscopy at Advanced Gastro Center
Overview of Upper GI Endoscopy
An upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy is the same procedure as an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD). It involves the insertion of an endoscope into the mouth to inspect the upper GI tract. As the name implies, an upper endoscopy will look at the higher GI tract, including the esophagus and stomach and down through the duodenum and jejunum, the regions of the small intestine just below the stomach. Gastroenterologists use upper endoscopies for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
Indications for Upper GI Endoscopy Necessity
Since the procedure offers a view of several portions of the upper GI tract, there are some situations in which an upper endoscopy could be beneficial. These range from problems with the esophagus – like Barrett’s esophagus – to generalized symptoms, such as chronic abdominal pain.
Preparation: Your New Jersey Advanced Gastro Center professionals will provide you with complete upper endoscopy 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 upper endoscopy.
You will usually need to refrain from eating about eight hours before your upper endoscopy. 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: Upper endoscopies 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 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 upper endoscopy begins. When it’s time to start, a bite block will be inserted into your mouth so that your gastroenterologist can freely move the endoscope. Then you’ll receive IV sedation.
The actual upper endoscopy procedure typically takes less than 45 minutes. Your New Jersey gastroenterological doctors 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 Upper GI Endoscopy
Once your upper endoscopy 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 postprocedure instructions. These will include signs to watch for and when to call your gastroenterologist. Your 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.