What is upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy?

Upper GI endoscopy is a procedure in which a doctor uses an endoscope—a long, flexible tube with a camera—to see the lining of your upper GI tract. A gastroenterologist, surgeon, or other trained health care provider performs the procedure. Your doctor may also call the procedure an EGD or esophagogastroduodenoscopy.

Which Patients Require upper GI endoscopy?

The Patients With Following Symptoms

  1. Abdominal pain
  2. Burning Sensation in Stomach
  3. persistent heartburn
  4. Riflux Symptoms
  5. nausea and vomiting
  6. Blood Vomiting
  7. Difficulty in swallowing
  8. unexplained weight loss

Upper GI endoscopy can identify many different diseases

  1. gastroesophageal reflux disease
  2. ulcers
  3. cancer
  4. inflammation, or swelling
  5. precancerous abnormalities
  6. Esophageal Varices
  7. celiac disease​

During upper GI endoscopy, a doctor obtains biopsies by passing an instrument through the endoscope to obtain a small piece of tissue. Biopsies are needed to diagnose conditions such as

  1. cancer
  2. celiac disease
  3. gastritis

Doctors also use upper GI endoscopy to

  1. treat conditions such as bleeding ulcers
  2. dilate strictures with a small balloon passed through the endoscope
  3. remove objects, including food, that may be stuck in the upper GI tract

How do I prepare for an upper GI endoscopy?

Talk with your doctor

You should talk with your doctor about medical conditions you have and all prescribed and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements you take, including

  1. aspirin or medicines that contain aspirin
  2. arthritis medicines
  3. nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen
  4. blood thinners
  5. blood pressure medicines
  6. diabetes medicines
Do not eat or drink before the procedure

The doctor needs to examine the lining of your upper GI tract during the procedure. If food or drink is in your upper GI tract when you have the procedure, the doctor will not be able to see this lining clearly. To make sure your upper GI tract is clear, the doctor will most often advise you not to eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum during the 8 hours before the procedure

How do doctors perform an upper GI endoscopy?

A doctor performs an upper GI endoscopy in a hospital or an outpatient center.The procedure can be performed with or without sedation. You will be given a liquid anesthetic to gargle or spray anesthetic on the back of your throat. The anesthetic numbs your throat and calms the gag reflex. The health care staff will monitor your vital signsExternal NIH Link and keep you as comfortable as possible.

You’ll be asked to lie on your side on an exam table. The doctor will carefully feed the endoscope down your esophagus and into your stomach and duodenum.A small camera mounted on the endoscope will send a video image to a monitor, allowing close examination of the lining of your upper GI tract. The endoscope pumps air into your stomach and duodenum, making them easier to see.

During the upper GI endoscopy, the doctor may

  1. perform a biopsy of tissue in your upper GI tract.
  2. stop any bleeding.
  3. perform other specialized procedures, such as dilating strictures.

The procedure most often takes about 5 minutes. The endoscope does not interfere with your breathing.