An upper endoscopy is an examination procedure used to check your upper digestive tract for any problems. This procedure might be used to determine the cause of symptoms such as nausea, painful swallowing, and diarrhea. It allows a healthcare provider to see inside of your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine by inserting a bendable tube that acts like a video camera (called an endoscope) into your throat.
An upper endoscopy is a procedure used by your doctor to gain more information about your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. Your doctor can look at the inside of these structures by placing an endoscope (a small, bendable tube that acts like a video camera) into your throat. If anything unusual, such as a growth or a foreign body, is found, the endoscope may also be used to treat them.
An upper endoscopy is also known as an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or EGD for short.
An upper endoscopy may be used as a screening check or to find out why you are having specific symptoms. These symptoms might include:
- Upper abdominal pain (stomach pain), such as heartburn
- Difficult or painful swallowing
Your stomach must be empty in order for the procedure to be thorough and safe, so you will not be able to eat or drink anything for at least six hours beforehand. Also, you must arrange for someone to take you home -- you will not be allowed to drive because of the sedatives. Your physician may give you other special instructions.
(Click Preparing for an EGD for more information.)