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What is an Upper Endoscopy (EGD)? 

An upper gastrointestinal (UGI) endoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to look at the interior lining of your esophagus, your stomach, and the first part of your small intestine (duodenum) through a thin, flexible viewing instrument called an endoscope. The tip of the endoscope is inserted through your mouth and then gently advanced down your throat into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (upper gastrointestinal tract).

Since the entire upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract can be examined during this test, the procedure is sometimes called esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD).

Why is Upper Endoscopy Performed?

Through the endoscope, your doctor can look for ulcers, inflammation, tumors, infection, or bleeding. The test can evaluate symptoms like pain, nausea, vomiting, or difficulty swallowing if they are persistent enough. Tissue samples can be collected (biopsy), polyps can be removed, and bleeding can be treated through the endoscope. Endoscopy can reveal problems that do not show up on X-ray tests, and it can sometimes eliminate the need for exploratory surgery.

What Happens During Upper Endoscopy in NJ?

  • Before your upper endoscopy, your DHC physician will give you detailed instructions regarding how to prepare for the procedure
  • You will be instructed to lie on the table either on your back or side. Monitors may be attached to you to make sure your breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate are adequate.
  • At that time, you will receive Propofol medication through Intravenous (IV) to make you fall asleep. In rare cases, doctors will give you a painkiller and spray anesthetic in your mouth to numb your throat, depending on your case.
  • During the procedure, the doctor will insert the endoscope in your mouth. This procedure should not cause any pain and it will not affect your breathing.
  • The purpose of this test is to view abnormalities in your upper digestive tract. Images and/or video will be taken to view at a later time. Gentle air pressure may be fed into your esophagus to inflate your digestive tract.
  • Your doctor will pass special surgical tools through the endoscope to collect tissue samples or remove a polyp.
  • The test takes between 5 and 20 minutes.

What Happens After Your EGD Test?

  • The effects of the anesthesia can persist for 24 hours. After receiving the sedation, you must exercise extreme caution before engaging in any activity that could be harmful to yourself or others (such as driving a car). Do not make any important decisions and do not drink any alcoholic beverages during this time period.
  • It is advised to take it easy for the rest of the day.
  • You may experience some mildly uncomfortable symptoms, such as bloating, gas, cramps, and a sore throat. They will improve within time, however if you’re concerned or have any questions, contact your doctor.
  • Take only the medication that is prescribed by your doctor.
  • After your procedure, you may have anything you’d like to eat or drink, although you should start with something ’light’. Please include plenty of fluids. Avoid items that cause gas, such as sodas and salads.
  • If your procedure required the placement of a metal clip, you cannot have an MRI for 30 days.

What are the Possible Complications of Upper Endoscopy?

Although complications are very rare following upper endoscopy, they can occur. Some of those may include:

  • Bleeding at the biopsy site (which may be minimal and rarely required a follow up)
  • A hole or tear in the gastrointestinal tract lining called perforation (this is rare, however surgery may be required to fix this)
  • Reaction to the sedatives or complications from heart or lung disease.

If you experience any of the following symptoms after your upper endoscopy, you should contact your doctor at DHC immediately:

  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bloody, black, or very dark colored stool
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Severe or persistent abdominal pain
  • Vomiting, especially if your vomit is bloody or looks like coffee grounds

When Will I Receive my Upper Endoscopy Results?

Each person will receive their results differently. You may receive the findings right after, or it may take up to a week if any biopsies were sent to a lab. Be sure to ask your doctor when you should expect these results.

DHC offers patients access to upper endoscopy (EGD) procedures at our Hillsborough, NJ office and surgical center. Our physicians will answer any and all questions you may have about the procedure and create a care plan that is personalized to you. To make your appointment, please call 908-218-9222.

Comprehensive Gastrointestinal Care in Somerset County

At DHC, located in Hillsborough, Somerville, and Warren, NJ, our team of digestive health specialists puts each patient first. We diagnose and treat chronic and acute gastrointestinal conditions so our patients can live healthier and more comfortable lives. We will work with you to determine the cause of your symptoms and determine the best course of action for finding relief. To learn more about what we do or to schedule your appointment, please contact us today.