An EGD procedure is performed to look for any problems in your upper digestive tract. To start an EGD, the doctor will spray a numbing medication into the back of your throat, insert an endoscope (a bendable tube that acts as a camera), and then begin examining your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine for any growths or foreign bodies. If problems are found, the endoscope may also be used to treat them.
What Is an EGD?
Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or EGD for short, is a procedure used by your doctor to gain more information about your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. Your doctor can look at the insides of these structures by placing an endoscope (a small, bendable tube that acts like a video camera) into your throat. If any unusual growths or foreign bodies are found by your doctor, the endoscope may also be used to treat them.
EGD is also called an upper endoscopy.
Beginning the EGD Procedure
When you are ready, medication may be given through your IV to make you sleepy and relaxed.
In order to make this examination more comfortable, your healthcare provider may spray a numbing medication into the back of your throat, or you may gargle with it. This may taste slightly bitter and will make your mouth and throat numb for approximately 30 minutes. Then you will be positioned on your left side.
During an EGD procedure, your doctor will use an endoscope. The endoscope is a long, soft, bendable tube. This instrument acts as a camera and allows your doctor to view the inside of your digestive system on a video screen. It can also take pictures and videotape the procedure.
A small plastic mouthpiece or guard will be put into your mouth to protect your teeth when the tube is slowly placed into your esophagus (or food pipe), and to keep you from accidentally biting the tube.
In order to help relax the muscles in the back of your throat and help open the passageway, you will need to take slow, deep breaths. You will then be instructed to put your chin to your chest and open your mouth. As the doctor begins to push the tube in, you will be asked to swallow. Swallowing makes the tube go down more easily. You may experience some gagging or nausea during the tube placement into your esophagus -- this is normal.