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Upper Endoscopy (EGD)

Are you scared of Endoscopy? You are not alone!
I see scared and anxious faces everyday in my office as patients come for their pre-procedure consultation. Let me reduce your anxiety by explaining what a colonoscopy entitle and what to expect during this procedure.
What is an upper endoscopy?
The purpose of and esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is to look for inflammation, blockages, ulcers, or tumors of the upper gastrointestinal tract. During the exam, a lighting tube will be inserted through the mouth, esophagus, stomach and the beginning of your small intestine. The exam will take approximately 5 to 20 minutes.
Why do we need to do an EGD?
This procedure is usually done if patients have symptoms of upper gastrointestinal disease such as nausea, vomiting, pain or bleeding. There are specific cases that we need to perform EGD for surveillance i.e. Barrett’s esophagus or esophageal varices.
What to expect during an endoscopy?
Patient will stop eating after midnight of the day before procedure. A process of cleansing is not required for this procedure. But I do suggest a light dinner the night before procedure.
The day of endoscopy you will arrive to the surgery center or the hospital where one is scheduled for the procedure. The patient will be given a sedative which is administered via an intravenous access to help with relaxation during the procedure. It also helps to prevent discomfort caused by air insufflation during the procedure. Therefore, the patient must have a driver after procedure and arranging the transportation should be made ahead of time.
The actual test itself involves the patient lying on her/his left side. A bite guard will be placed in the mouth to protect the teeth prior the procedure. After sedation of the patient, a long, flexible fiber-optic scope is guided into the mouth by the physician. This scope allows the doctor to examine the entire the esophagus, stomach and beginning part of small intestine. If any tissues are biopsied during the procedure, they will be sent to the pathology lab, to evaluate the nature of the lesion and further testing. If the site of biopsy or polyp removed bleeds, the doctor is able to stop the bleeding with different techniques at that time of procedure. It takes 5 to 15 to complete the exam.

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