Do you have heartburn or acid reflux? Do you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)? Are you considering an endoscopic procedure to treat your condition? You might consider an EGD procedure if you answered yes to any of these questions. Most people can go home the same day and recover quickly. However, as with any medical procedure, there are some risks involved.
What Is an EGD Procedure?
EGD, or upper endoscopy, means esophagogastroduodenoscopy. It is a diagnostic test that allows your doctor to examine the inside of your upper digestive system. That includes your esophagus, stomach, and the beginning of your small intestine.
What Happens During an EGD Procedure?
During the procedure, your doctor will give you a sedative to help you relax. They will then pass a small, flexible tube through your mouth and throat. The device has a light and a camera on the end of it. That allows your doctor to see the inside of your upper digestive system.
Your doctor may also take biopsies during the procedure. A biopsy is when they take a small piece of tissue for testing. Your doctor may do this if they see something abnormal during the EGD, like:
- Inflammation, and
- Abnormal growths
After the procedure, your provider will take you to a recovery room to monitor you for a short time. You will likely be able to go home the same day.
When Do You Need an Upper Endoscopy?
Your doctor may recommend an EGD if you have symptoms of GERD, such as heartburn or acid reflux. They may also recommend it if you have been diagnosed with GERD but are not responding to treatment.
An EGD procedure is a safe and effective way to diagnose and treat upper digestive problems. That includes:
- Celiac disease – an autoimmune disorder that affects the small intestine
- Crohn’s disease – a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can affect any part of the digestive system, from the mouth to the anus
- Esophageal cancer – a type of cancer that starts in the esophagus
- Gastrointestinal bleeding – bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, and
- Ulcers – open sores that can form in the lining of the stomach or small intestine
Your doctor may also recommend an EGD if you have had a recent, unexplained weight loss.
What Are the Risks of an EGD Procedure?
EGD is generally a safe procedure. However, as with any medical procedure, there are some risks involved. These include:
- Perforation (a hole in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract)
- Reaction to the sedative, or
- Swallowing the tube (rare)
You can reduce your risk of complications by following your doctor’s instructions.
How Do You Prepare for an EGD Procedure?
Your doctor will give you specific instructions on preparing for your EGD. That may include:
- Not eating or drinking for six hours before your upper endoscopy
- Taking a laxative or enema the night before the procedure, and
- Stopping certain medications a week before your EGD procedure (including blood thinners or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
You must follow your doctor’s instructions. That will help the procedure go smoothly and reduce your risk of complications.
What Happens After an EGD Procedure?
Most people can go home the same day as their EGD procedure. You will need someone to drive you home, as the sedative can make you drowsy. You should not eat or drink for four to six hours after the procedure to let your throat heal.
Your doctor will give you instructions on how to care for yourself at home. They will also discuss the results of your EGD with you. If they have taken biopsies, it may take a few days to get the results back.
EGD Procedure in California
If you are considering an EGD procedure, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.
Do you need an EGD procedure? You can rely on the inSite Digestive Health Center. Our providers are experienced, trained, and excited to give you the best care you deserve. You can rest assured of only the best care and top-notch medical services.
You may call our doctors to learn about our services. You may also book a consultation using our convenient appointment request form.
We look forward to serving you!