EGD is a visual tool used for diagnosing and treating diseases of the esophagus and the stomach. During this visual exam, our physicians are able to see the upper intestinal tract using a lighted, flexible endoscope.
An EGD allows our team to diagnose ulcers, tumors of the stomach and esophagus, difficulty swallowing, upper abdominal pain or indigestion, intestinal bleeding, esophagitis and heartburn, and gastritis. During an EGD, other instruments can be passed through the endoscope to perform additional procedures, if needed. These include: biopsies or removal of a polyp or tumor.
This procedure is performed by one of Southeastern Gastroenterology’s talented physicians in the endoscopy lab at the hospital.
You may not eat or drink anything at least 8 hours prior to the exam. Your physician will give you instructions about the use of your regular medications, including blood thinners, prior to the exam. Because mild sedation is used, you will not be allowed to drive or operate machinery for up to 6 hours following the exam. Please plan to have someone with you to drive you home.
First your physician will numb your throat with a spray or liquid. The endoscope is then gently inserted into the upper esophagus. The exam takes 15 to 30 minutes, then you are taken to the recovery area. There is no pain with the procedure and patients seldom remember much about it.
Following the exam, your physician will explain the results — if necessary, a follow-up appointment will be scheduled. If a biopsy has been preformed or a polyp removed, it will take several days to receive the results.
An endoscope is a flexible tube with a tiny, computer chip at the end. As the physician moves it through the upper gastrointestinal tract, electronic signals are transmitted from the scope to a computer that displays the images on a video screen. An endoscope has an open channel that allows other instruments to be passed through it to take tissue samples, remove polyps and perform other exams