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Upper Endoscopy

Upper Endoscopy is a procedure used to visually examine the upper digestive system (esophagus, stomach and duodenum). The procedure can help determine the reason for swallowing difficulties, nausea, vomiting, reflux, bleeding, indigestion and abdominal or chest pain. Upper endoscopy is often referred to as EGD, which stands for esophagogastroduodenoscopy.

The Procedure

The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes. You should plan to be with us until you are fully awake and taking fluids, two hours maximum.

  • Prior to the procedure, sedation will be administered to minimize discomfort
  • During the endoscopy, you will swallow a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera attached, called an endoscope
  • Once the procedure is underway, the physician uses an endoscope to transmit an image of the inside of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum to a nearby monitor
  • Air is inserted into the stomach through the scope, allowing for a thorough examination of the stomach folds and lining

If anything unusual is found during the exam, such as an ulcer or inflamed tissue, a biopsy will be performed to remove a small piece of the affected tissue, which will be sent to the lab for testing.

Preparing for Your Appointment

For the procedure to be completed in a safe and thorough manner, your stomach and duodenum must be completely empty. To prepare for the procedure, you must:

  • Stop eating food at midnight
  • Drink clear liquids to take your medications, up until three (3) hours prior to your procedure; then nothing by mouth
  • Arrange for someone to take you home after the procedure

On the day of the endoscopy, please follow the preparation instructions provided. It is important to bring the following items:

  • List of medications
  • List of allergies
  • List of any past medical problems and/or surgeries
  • Insurance information

After Your Appointment

After your endoscopy, you will be observed closely until you are fully awake. Many people do not even remember the procedure due to the sedative medication. Before you leave, your physician will discuss any preliminary findings with you. The nursing staff will assess that you are ready to leave and provide instructions.


  • Drive or operate mechanical equipment until the next day
  • Do not drink alcohol for at least 24 hours

A full report of the results will be sent to your personal physician, and biopsy results are usually available in 7-10 business days.


Bleeding and puncture of the stomach lining are possible complications of an endoscopy, however these complications are extremely rare. Most patients experience nothing more than a mild sore throat following the procedure.

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