An upper endoscopy, often referred to as endoscopy, EGD, or esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy, is a procedure that allows Dr Yoganathan to directly examine the upper part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tractstomach, and the duodenum (the first section of the small intestine).

Dr Yoganathan performs the procedure and has special training in using an endoscope to examine the upper GI system, looking for inflammation (redness, irritation), bleeding, ulcers, or tumors.

Reasons For An Upper Endoscopy

The most common reasons for upper endoscopy include:

  • Unexplained discomfort in the upper abdomen.
  • GORD or gastro-esophageal reflux disease (often called heartburn).
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting.
  • Upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding (vomiting blood or blood found in the stool that originated from the upper part of the GI tract). Bleeding can be treated during the endoscopy.
  • Difficulty swallowing; food/liquids getting stuck in the esophagus during swallowing. This may be caused by a narrowing (stricture) or tumor or because the esophagus is not contracting properly. If there is a stricture, it can often be dilated with special balloons or dilation tubes during the endoscopy.
  • Abnormal or unclear findings on an upper GI x-ray, CT scan, or MRI.
  • Removal of a foreign body (a swallowed object).
To check healing or progress on previously found polyps (growths), tumors, or ulcers.

Endoscopy Preparation

You will be given specific instructions regarding how to prepare for the examination before the procedure. These instructions are designed to maximize your safety during and after the examination and to minimize possible complications. It is important to read the instructions ahead of time and follow them carefully. Do not hesitate to call the physician's office or the endoscopy facility if there are questions. You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for up to eight hours before the test. It is important for your stomach to be empty to allow the endoscopist to visualize the entire area and to decrease the possibility of food or fluid being vomited into the lungs while under sedation (called aspiration).

What to expect during Endoscopy

Prior to the endoscopy, the staff will review your medical and surgical history, including current medications. A physician will explain the procedure and ask you to sign consent. Before signing consent, you should understand all the benefits and risks of the procedure and should have all of your questions answered. An intravenous line (a needle inserted into a vein in the hand or arm) will be inserted to deliver medications. You may be given a combination of a sedative (to help you relax) and a narcotic (to prevent discomfort), or other medications that are commonly used for sedation. Although most patients are sedated for the examination, many tolerate the procedure well without any medication.

The Endoscopy Procedure

The procedure typically takes between 10 and 20 minutes to complete. The endoscopy is performed while you lie on your left side. Sometimes you will give a medication to numb the throat (either a gargle or a spray). A plastic mouth guard is placed between the teeth to prevent damage to the teeth and endoscope. The endoscope (also called a gastroscope) is a flexible tube that is about the size of a finger. The endoscope has a lens and a light source that allows the endoscopist to see the inner lining of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, usually on a TV monitor.

Recovery from Endoscopy

After the endoscopy, you will be observed for a period of time, generally less than one hour, while the sedative medication wears off. Some of the medicines commonly used cause some people to temporarily feel tired or have difficulty concentrating. You typically will be instructed not to drive and not to return to work for the balance of the day of the procedure. The most common discomfort after the examination is a feeling of bloating as a result of the air introduced during the examination. This usually resolves quickly. Some patients also have a mild sore throat. Most patients are able to eat shortly after the examination.

Endoscopy Complications

Upper endoscopy is a safe procedure and complications are rare. Dr. Yoganathan will advise you with regards to any potential complications for a procedure.

After Upper Endoscopy

Most patients tolerate endoscopy very well and feel fine afterwards. Some fatigue is common after the examination, and you should plan to take it easy and relax the rest of the day.

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