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What is Esophagogastroduodenoscopy?

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy is also called upper endoscopy, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy or short EGD. That is a diagnostic procedure which involves small flexible camera (endoscope) introduced through the mouth in order to exam lining of the esophagus, stomach and upper duodenum.

Purpose of EGD

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy is used for both diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. If you suffer from symptoms connected to upper gastrointestinal tract, upper endoscopy will be probably necessary. Such symptoms include pain localized in the chest or upper stomach, nausea or vomiting, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), trouble swallowing or dysphagia and bleeding from upper intestinal tract.

Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy can be used for therapeutic interventions such as control of bleeding, ablation of neoplasms, gastrostomy placement, removal of polyps or other non-cancerous tissues, dilation or stenting of stricture and retrieval of foreign bodies. 

EGD is used for taking samples (biopsies) for suggested gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, such as malabsorption, infections or neoplasms. When inflammation, ulcer or tumor is suspected, upper endoscopy is more reliable than x-ray.

To be precise, disorders that are identified, evaluated and treated with the use of upper endoscopy include: Crohn’s disease, cancer of esophagus, gastroesophageal reflux disease, rectal bleeding, stomach cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, stomach ulcers, and hiatal hernia.

EGD Procedure

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy procedure performs gastroenterologist. Patient receives sedative and painkiller. Local anesthetic is sprayed in patient’s mouth and he or she is instructed to lie on his left side. The endoscope is then advanced through the esophagus to the stomach and duodenum (part of small intestine). Camera at the end of endoscope sends images to a monitor thus allowing endoscopist to look at entire upper gastrointestinal tract. If needed, biopsies can be taken through the endscope. Different treatments can be performed as well.

Contraindications

EGD is contraindicated in patients suffering from severe upper gastrointestinal (UGI) bleeding. Contraindications also include possible perforation, unstable patients or unwilling patients. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy shouldn’t be performed on patients with history bleeding disorders such as pallet dysfunction or hemophilia esophageal diverticula. Apart from that, EGD shouldn’t be performed on patients who recently had surgery of the upper gastrointestinal tract.

Complications

EGD is generally done with successful results and very limited complications. Rate of complications of esophagogastroduodenoscopy is less than 2%. Minor complications of upper endoscopy include nausea and vomiting, reaction to medication and allergic skin reaction. Severe complications are related to heart or lungs. This includes pneumonia, irregular heart rhythms, lung or heart failure. Sometimes perforation and bleeding can occur as well. Infections rarely occur as a result of EGD.  

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