Upper Endoscopy Procedure

Upper GI Endoscopy

An upper GI endoscopy procedure is called esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or EGD for short. Your doctor may recommend an EGD for heartburn, upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, intestinal bleeding or diarrhea.

The procedure is used to examine the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine) through a small, flexible tube with a light and camera at the end. The physician can look for inflammation, ulcers, bleeding and tumors. Biopsies may be taken, and bleeding areas may be treated through the endoscope. It also can be used to stretch (dilate) narrow areas that are preventing food from passing normally.

During an EGD most patients receive “conscious sedation.” This means you will be given intravenous medication to relax you and keep you comfortable during the procedure. These medications often cause you to not remember the procedure or events that occur shortly after it.

How to Prepare for an EGD

Before the procedure is scheduled, you will need to tell the physician all the medications you take, including over-the-counter medications. Bring a list of medications (include name, strength, and dosage) you are currently taking and any surgeries you have had to your appointment.

If you take insulin, do not take it on the day of your procedure until after procedure has been performed. Your doctor will tell you which medications you should take on the day of your procedure and any other instructions you need to follow.

Please notify us if you are currently taking any of the following medications. We will advise you to discontinue or make adjustments to these medications or ask you to consult with your primary care physician or cardiologist prior to your procedure:

  • Plavix (clopidogrel)
  • Effient (prasugrel)
  • Brilinta (ticagrelor)
  • Ticlid (ticlopidine)
  • Coumadin (warfarin)
  • Eliquis (apixaban)
  • Aggrenox (aspirin/dipyridamole)
  • Pradaxa (dabigatran)
  • Persantine (dipyridamole)
  • Xarelto (rivaroxaban)

Do not eat or drink for eight hours before your appointment, including gum. Certain medications, such as blood pressure medicine, should be taken with a small sip of water the morning of your test.

Someone will need to drive you home and stay with you for a few hours after the procedure. While at the hospital, they will need to remain in the endoscopy department until the procedure has been completed.

What to Expect After an EGD

After the procedure you will go to a recovery area for a short time, until the sedation wears off. Some patients have a mild sore throat or feel some abdominal bloating.

Because of the sedation, you will not be able to drive or work for the rest of the day/evening. You should not operate machinery or make legal decisions for the rest of the day/evening. You will need to have someone drive you home and stay with you for a few hours after the procedure.

Possible Complications

As with any medical procedure, there are possible complications from endoscopy. These may include a reaction to the sedation, bleeding or perforation (a hole). These are very rare.

Call your physician if you get a fever, have trouble swallowing, or have pain in the throat, chest or abdomen.

If you are unable to keep your appointment or need to reschedule, call our office at (502) 896-4711 at least 48 hours prior to your procedure.

If you are going to be late for your procedure, call the hospital’s endoscopy department. If you are scheduled at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital, call (502) 893-1277. If you are scheduled at Norton Brownsboro Hospital, call (502) 446-8200.

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