Once the endoscope is inside, your doctor will examine your esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine. To better see this area, these structures may be gently filled with a small quantity of air through the endoscope. While this air may cause you to feel full, it should not be painful.
During the EGD procedure, your saliva may be suctioned from your mouth using a small plastic tube similar to the ones used by dentists.
Depending on what is found during the endoscopy, your doctor may perform several procedures through the endoscope. A photograph, biopsy, or cytology may be taken. A biopsy involves taking a small sample of tissue, and cytology is a brushing of cells. Other procedures that may be performed include stretching narrowed areas of the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum; removing polyps and swallowed objects; or treating bleeding vessels and ulcers.
If your doctor finds a narrowed area, it may be possible to dilate or widen this narrowed section, or "stricture," with a dilator. Your doctor has two options for doing this.
The first is balloon dilation. During this procedure, your doctor inserts a special balloon-tipped catheter through the endoscope and guides it to the narrowed area. Once the balloon catheter is correctly placed, it can be inflated and deflated several times to increase the size of the narrowed area. The balloon catheter is then removed.
The second option is to use plastic tube dilators. With this method, a guide wire is passed through the endoscope into the narrowed area. Then progressively larger dilators are passed over the guide wire to dilate the narrowed area.
Both of these methods have the same effect.