EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) is a common procedure used to screen your upper digestive tract for growths or foreign bodies. It is performed by inserting a bendable tube that acts like a camera into your throat to look at the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. Upper digestive tract problems that can be found through this procedure include gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcers, and abnormal growths.
What Is 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, which is 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.
Understanding the Digestive System
Before we discuss the EGD, it may be helpful for you to understand the normal anatomy of the digestive system or food pathway.
When you eat or drink, food or liquid travels from the mouth through a hollow tube called the esophagus into your stomach.
In your stomach, acids and enzymes break down the food. From the stomach, the food enters the small intestine, another hollow organ that functions to digest and absorb certain parts of the food.
After the remaining food leaves the small intestine, it enters the colon. The colon has almost nothing to do with digestion. Its main function is to remove water from the stool and store it so that you can have a bowel movement and clear the colon of waste.
During the EGD, your doctor will only look at the upper digestive tract. This includes the esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum).