Upper Endoscopy (Esophagogastroduodenoscopy or "EGD")

What is the test?

This test inspects your esophagus and stomach using an endoscope. An upper endoscopy allows the doctor to explore the cause of such symptoms as difficulty swallowing, abdominal pain, vomiting up blood, or passing blood in the stool. It can also diagnose irritation, ulcers, and cancers of the lining of the esophagus and stomach. During this type of endoscopy, the doctor can also take biopsy samples of tissue.

How do I prepare for the test?

Don't eat or drink anything for eight hours before this test. It's also best to stop taking aspirin and other NSAIDs for several days beforehand, to reduce the chances of bleeding should your doctor need to take a biopsy. Ask your doctor if you should avoid taking any other medicines on the day of the test. Because you have to fast for this test, if you have diabetes talk with your doctor about ways to avoid hypoglycemia. If you wear dentures, remove them before the test. Arrange for a ride home because the medicine given for this test will make you drowsy.

What happens when the test is performed?

The nurse will place an intravenous catheter into your arm. During the procedure, the nurse will be monitoring your heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen content of your blood. You'll probably be given a sedative through an IV. This medicine may prevent you from remembering the test; it might even make you sleep through it.

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