Etowah Gastroenterology Associates | Gadsden, Alabama logo for print

Etowah Gastroenterology Associates

1026 Goodyear Ave.
Suite 201
Gadsden, AL 35903

Phone: 256-467-4477


1026 Goodyear Ave., Suite 201
Gadsden, AL 35903

Phone: 256-467-4477

Upper Endoscopy

Learn more about what you can expect during your upper endoscopy (EGD) from The American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

What is an upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy?

An upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy is a procedure that uses an endoscope—a small, flexible tube with a light—to see the lining of the upper GI tract.

Why is an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy performed?

An upper GI endoscopy can help diagnose the cause of

  • abdominal pain
  • anemia—a condition in which the number of red blood cells is less than normal, resulting in less oxygen carried to the body's cells
  • bleeding in the upper GI tract
  • nausea and vomiting
  • problems swallowing
  • unexplained weight loss

How does a person prepare for an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy?

To ensure that the upper GI tract is clear, health care providers usually advise people not to eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum during the 8 hours before the procedure.

How is an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy performed?

The health care provider carefully feeds the endoscope down the person’s esophagus and into the stomach and duodenum. A small camera mounted on the endoscope sends a video image to a monitor, allowing close examination of the intestinal lining.

What can a person expect after an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy?

After an upper GI endoscopy, a person can expect the following:

  • bloating or nausea for a short time after the procedure
  • a sore throat for 1 to 2 days
  • to stay at the hospital or outpatient center for 1 to 2 hours after the procedure so the sedation can wear off
  • to resume a normal diet once his or her gag reflex has returned
  • to rest at home for the remainder of the day

Seek Immediate Care

People who have any of the following symptoms after an upper GI endoscopy should seek immediate medical attention:

  • chest pain
  • difficulty breathing
  • problems swallowing or throat pain that worsens
  • vomiting—particularly vomit that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds
  • abdominal pain that worsens
  • bloody or black, tar-colored stool
  • fever

Source: National Digestive Diseases, Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC), Upper GI Endoscopy.

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