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Upper Endoscopy / Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) for Esophageal, Stomach & Small Bowel Conditions

The most common endoscopic procedure is an upper endoscopy. This procedure is also called an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) because it looks at the:

  • Esophagus (esophago)
  • Stomach (gastro)
  • First part of the small intestine (duoden)

When someone speaks of having an “endoscopy,” it usually means this procedure.

Uses of EGD

Upper endoscopy is used to diagnose, monitor, biopsy and treat several digestive conditions.

EGD for Diagnosis

An upper endoscopy can help in the diagnosis of several conditions. Some of these include:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Difficult swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Chronic nausea or vomiting
  • Chronic indigestion (dyspepsia)
  • Bleeding in the upper digestive tract

EGD for Active Monitoring of Conditions

Upper endoscopy can also be used to monitor certain conditions to determine if they need medical attention:

  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Follow-up after stomach surgery

EGD for Biopsy

Sometimes upper endoscopy is used for biopsy by collecting small tissue samples. These samples will be looked at under a microscope to determine if the patient has any suspected conditions such as:

  • Esophageal cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Celiac disease

EGD for Treatment

Finally, a doctor can use upper endoscopy as part of another procedure to treat a condition.

Some treatment procedures that use upper endoscopy include:

  • Minimally invasive surgery for GERD
  • Esophageal dysplasia treatment
  • Removing early-stage cancer or precancerous growths such as polyps
  • Feeding tube placement
  • Correcting stenosis or achalasia
  • Draining a pancreatic cyst
  • Removing foreign objects from the esophagus

What an EGD Involves

Preparing for an upper endoscopy is easy. It involves fasting for a few hours beforehand. Some patients may need to stop taking certain medications a few days before their procedure. When the endoscopy is about to begin, the patient will lie on a bed with his or her head slightly raised on a pillow. The endoscope—a flexible tube with a light and camera—will gently be placed down the patient’s throat and into the esophagus.

Many patients only have their throats numbed so they won’t feel the endoscope, but some prefer light sedation or even general anesthesia. At DHI, we want you to be comfortable during your endoscopy and will work to achieve that. After the endoscope travels through the esophagus, it continues through to the stomach. Then it passes through to the upper part of the small intestine (the duodenum) until it is brought back out of the upper digestive tract. When the endoscopy is over, patients need little-to-no recovery time unless they were sedated or given anesthesia.

Risks Associated with EGD

There are some risks involved with upper endoscopy, but they are very rare. These include bleeding, infection and tearing of the digestive tract. Risks for complications increase if a biopsy or treatment procedure is being done as part of the upper endoscopy. However, closely following your doctor’s instructions in preparing for the endoscopy will lower the chance that a problem will occur.

To schedule an upper endoscopy at DHI, call us at (813) 615-7557.



At DHI, we know that after being diagnosed with cancer, patients want and often need to begin treatment quickly. So we make it a priority to offer appointments for cancer surgery consultations within 5 business days, and often earlier. Our surgeons will make themselves available to see you right away, even for a second opinion.

Patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer, or have just found out they have cancer recurrence, qualify for this priority access. Our surgeons will make themselves available to see you right away, even for a second opinion. We want to help you start your treatment as soon as possible.

If you have been diagnosed with a cancer of the digestive system, don’t wait.
Call the Digestive Health Institute at (813) 615-7440.

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