The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide
Diagnostic Tests - Upper Endoscopy (EGD)
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What risks are there from the test?

  • Complications are rare.About 1 in 1,000 people has a serious complication, such as aspiration (accidentally inhaling saliva into the lungs), which can cause pneumonia. If a biopsy is taken, or if the endoscope injures the wall of the esophagus or stomach, it can cause bleeding. If severe, internal bleeding can require a transfusion. In rare cases, perforation of the lining of the stomach, esophagus, or intestine can also occur, requiring surgery. The sedative given can sometimes cause an allergic reaction.

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