Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)

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Important! This exam requires that you have an empty stomach. You should not consume any food for 8 hrs before the procedure. After that, you may drink clear* liquids only - but 4 hrs before the exam, stop all liquids including water (minimal sips are allowed only to take your usual medications). Avoid gum and hard candy.

Medications: If you take insulin or other diabetic medicines, dosage adjustments will be provided for you. Bring your insulin with you so that you can take it after the procedure if necessary. If you are on blood thinners such as Plavix, Coumadin, Eliquis, Xarelto, or any other medications that thin your blood, let us know at the time of scheduling because they may need to be held.  All other meds should be taken at their usual time with a few sips of water.

What is it and why do I need it?

EGD, also called upper endoscopy, is an endoscopic procedure that examines the esophagus, stomach and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). It is used to diagnose and treat upper gastrointestinal symptoms such as heartburn, reflux, upper abdominal pain, trouble swallowing, nausea, vomiting and gastrointestinal bleeding. Conditions such as ulcers, inflammation, strictures and more may be found and treated during an EGD.

The risks

You will be asked to sign a consent form at the time of the exam. The risks of EGD are low (under 1%) but do include bleeding, perforation, infection, tearing of the lining, aspiration, medication reactions and heart/lung problems. If you have concerns about these risks, please contact your physician before your procedure. You will also be able to discuss this with your physician at the time of the exam.

The procedure

In the preparation area, you will be asked questions about your health history. Your procedure usually takes 5-10 minutes and you will be sedated for it. Once you are asleep, the endoscope will be inserted through your mouth and advanced into your esophagus, stomach and duodenum. Your physician will then withdraw the endoscope and look for any abnormalities that need to be biopsied or treated. 

After the procedure

In the recovery unit, your physician will discuss the results with you and give you discharge instructions. You and your driver will remain there until your sedation has worn off to a satisfactory level. After discharge, you may resume your usual activities and diet and return to work the following day. However, you may not drive, make important decisions or operate machinery the rest of the day.  You must have someone at least 18 yrs old with you during the entire time from check-in through recovery and to drive you home after the exam (a taxi or bus is not an option).  A report will be sent to your referring physician. If any biopsies are taken, you will be contacted with the results.


* A clear liquid diet includes water, coffee (only if you must; please limit coffee intake to 8 oz and must be black, no cream or non-dairy creamer), tea, soda, broth or clear juice like apple juice or white grape juice, popsicles, and Jell-O (no added fruit). Avoid red colors. No milk products.