Upper GI Endoscopy

An upper GI endoscopy — also called an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) — is an examination of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract with a slim, flexible, lighted tube. The upper GI tract includes the throat, esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestines (duodenum).

When is it used?
This procedure may be done to check for problems with your digestive tract. It may be done if you have:

How do I prepare for an EGD?
Follow your health care provider's instructions about not smoking before and after the procedure. Smokers heal more slowly after surgery. They are also more likely to have breathing problems during the procedure. For this reason, if you are a smoker, you should quit at least 2 weeks before the procedure.

If you need a minor pain reliever in the week before the procedure, choose acetaminophen rather than aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. This helps avoid extra bleeding during the procedure. If you are taking daily aspirin for a medical condition, ask your provider if you need to stop taking it before your procedure.

Follow any other instructions your health care provider may give you.

What happens during the procedure?
You will be given a sedative. Your health care provider inserts a long, flexible tube into your mouth and down your food pipe (esophagus). Your provider looks for any abnormalities, irritation, or infection in your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum.

Your health care provider continues to check your stomach and small intestine for ulcers or abnormal growths. Abnormal areas may be photographed. If any growths, cancers, or ulcers are found, your provider may take tissue samples (biopsies) for lab tests. Your provider may remove some of the abnormal growths. After your provider has examined the GI tract, the tube is removed.

What happens after the procedure?
You are observed for about an hour. You should not drive or do anything else that requires a quick response time for about 4 to 6 hours. Someone should drive you home. You may have a mild sore throat after this procedure. You may continue to feel the same discomfort or symptoms that you had before the procedure.

Ask what other steps you should take and when you should come back for a checkup.

What are the benefits of this procedure?
This procedure will help your health care provider make a more accurate diagnosis. It may not cure the problem.

What are the risks associated with this procedure?

You should ask your health care provider how these risks apply to you.

When should I call my health care provider?
Call your health care provider right away if:

Call during office hours if:

Adult Health Advisor 2006.4; Copyright © 2006 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved. Developed by McKesson Provider Technologies. This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.