What to Expect from an Upper Intestinal Endoscopy

Last updated: Jul 27, 2014 at 9:05am

If you have difficulty swallowing or experience issues with severe acid reflux, you may need an upper intestinal endoscopy, also known as an EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy). You may or may not have already been told that you’re in need of this procedure. The good news is, an endoscopy is considered by many patients to be an easy procedure to endure.

Before the Endoscopy

Before the procedure, your doctor will prepare you thoroughly for the endoscopy. You should not eat or drink anything for at least eight hours prior to the procedure. This is for fairly obvious reasons.

During the Endoscopy

During the procedure, an endoscope is inserted through the mouth, down the esophagus and into the stomach. An endoscope is a flexible fiberoptic instrument that basically takes pictures of the upper GI area.

If anything is detected, a small tissue sample will be taken for biopsy. This is typically performed on an out-patient basis and is also typically a painless procedure performed under light general anesthetics.

After the Procedure

Some patients report minor throat discomfort afterwards, but many only experience slight grogginess from the anesthetics. The groggy feeling that is commonly experienced following the procedure only lasts momentarily. With a little bit of rest, you’ll be fine.

Common Reasons for an Upper Intestinal Endoscopy

An upper intestinal endoscopy assists in the diagnosis of many upper GI tract disorders and diseases. Common conditions diagnosed through an upper GI endoscopy include ulcers, esophagitis, acid reflux disease, gastritis, the bacterial infection H. Pylori, and malignant or non-malignant tumors.

It’s important to identify these disorders to ensure proper treatment. The bacterial infection H. Pylori is a common infection that occurs in the stomach and is easily treatable with an antibiotic. If left untreated, H. Pylori can lead to stomach cancer.

Severe acid reflux disease if left untreated can lead to cancer of the esophagus. The upper GI endoscopy is a useful tool for identifying these issues to both treat present disorders and to prevent future disorders of the GI tract.

If you’re experiencing issues with your gastrointestinal system, or have difficulty swallowing and think you may need an upper GI endoscopy, contact us today to learn more.