An upper endoscopy, also known as an EGD, is a non-surgical procedure used to view the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract – the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum – to help diagnose and treat certain GI health conditions. Prior to the procedure, patients are sedated with moderate sedation, so they will not experience any pain or discomfort. Once the patient is sedated, a small, flexible endoscope is inserted through the mouth to examine the esophagus, stomach, and part of the small intestine. If any abnormalities are present, the doctor will remove the tissue with the endoscope to submit them to a pathologist for diagnostic purposes. The upper endoscopy is a brief procedure, lasting between 10 to 15 minutes. An upper endoscopy is a safe procedure, and often necessary to provide information that other tests simply may not be able to provide. An upper endoscopy can prevent esophagus and stomach cancers from developing.
The digestive system is a complex part of the body. As a result, certain GI symptoms may require an upper endoscopy to achieve the proper diagnosis. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms – or have a history of the following conditions – you may need to undergo an upper endoscopy: