An Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) or Upper GI Endoscopy is a procedure during which the upper digestive tract is examined using a lighted, flexible video endoscope. The upper digestive tract begins with the mouth and continues with the esophagus (food pipe), stomach and duodenum (initial segment of the small bowel). An EGD is performed for diagnostic reasons (detecting diseases) as well as therapeutic reasons (treating diseases). The most common indications for EGD include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), abdominal pain, intractable nausea and vomiting, difficulties and/or pain with swallowing, peptic ulcers of the stomach and duodenum, esophageal and gastric cancer, and upper gastrointestinal bleeding.
The EGD is a relatively short and painless procedure. For added comfort and for minimizing the anxiety, most patients are sedated with use of short-acting intravenous medications. In opposite to colonoscopy, no cleansing of the intestine is necessary before an EGD. However, you should not eat or drink after midnight the night before your procedure (minimum 6 hours prior to EGD).
At least a week prior to EGD, you should notify the physician performing the procedure (or nurse) if taking medications for diabetes (oral or injectable) and/or anticoagulants (“blood thinners”) such as Coumadin (Warfarin), Heparin, Lovenox (Enoxaparin), Plavix (Clopidogrel), Pradaxa (Dabigatran) or Ticlid (Ticlopidine). Also, you should notify your physician of taking Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Advil, Naprosyn, Voltaren, and other similar anti-inflammatory medications.
For details concerning the technique, risks of the procedure, and indications for EGD, please click on this link to the American Gastroenterological Association web site.