1304 Somerville Rd.
Decatur, AL 35601

Office: 256-260-2333
Fax: 256-260-2336


2011. Riverside Gastroenterology
1304 Somerville Rd., Decatur, AL 35601


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Procedures & Treatments

What Is An Upper Endoscopy (EGD)?

Upper Endoscopy (EGD)

An Upper Endoscopy (also called an EGD) is a procedure that uses a lighted, flexible endoscope to see inside the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).

What problems can an Upper Endoscopy (EGD) detect?

An Upper Endoscopy (EGD) can detect

• Ulcers
• Inflammation
• Precancerous conditions
• Tumors
• Hiatal hernia
• Damage from excessive reflux
• Gastritis

An Upper Endoscopy (EGD) can be used to determine the cause of

• Abdominal pain
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Swallowing difficulties
• Gastric reflux
• Unexplained weight loss
• Anemia
• Bleeding in the
upper GI tract

An Upper Endoscopy (EGD) can be used to remove stuck objects, including food, and to treat conditions such as bleeding ulcers. It can also be used to biopsy tissue in the upper GI tract. During a biopsy, a small piece of tissue is removed for later examination with a microscope. This is called a biopsy. If a biopsy is taken, you will be notified of the results by phone or Dr. Short may need to see you for a follow up visit.

How to Prepare for an Upper Endoscopy (EGD)

The upper GI tract must be empty before the endoscopy. Generally, no eating or drinking is allowed for 8 hours before the procedure.

Patients should tell their doctor about all health conditions they have—especially heart and lung problems, diabetes, and allergies— and all medications they are taking. Patients may be asked to temporarily stop taking medications that affect blood clotting or interact with sedatives which are given during an endoscopy.

Medications and vitamins that may be restricted before and after an endoscopy include:

• Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), and naproxen (Aleve)
• Blood thinners
• Blood pressure medications
• Antidepressants

Driving is not permitted for 12 to 24 hours after an endoscopy to allow sedatives time to completely wear off. Before the appointment, patients should make plans for a ride home.

How is an Upper Endoscopy (EGD) performed?

Patients may receive a local, liquid anesthetic that is gargled or sprayed on the back of the throat. The anesthetic numbs the throat and calms the gag reflex. An intravenous (IV) needle is placed in a vein in the arm for the conscious sedation to be given. You will have no awareness of the procedure being done. While patients are sedated, the doctor and medical staff monitor vital signs.

During the procedure, patients lie on their back or side on an examination table. An endoscope is carefully fed down the esophagus and into the stomach and duodenum. A small camera mounted on the endoscope transmits a video image to a video monitor, allowing close examination of the intestinal lining. Air is pumped through the endoscope to inflate the stomach and duodenum, making them easier to see. Special tools that slide through the endoscope allow the doctor to perform biopsies, stop bleeding, and remove abnormal growths.

Recovery from An Upper Endoscopy (EGD)

After an upper endoscopy, patients are moved to a recovery room where they wait about an hour for the sedative to wear off. During this time, patients may feel bloated or nauseated. They may also have a sore throat, which can stay for a day or two. Patients will likely feel tired and should plan to rest for the remainder of the day. Unless otherwise directed, patients may immediately resume their normal diet and medications.

Some results from An Upper Endoscopy (EGD) are available immediately after the procedure. Dr. Short will discuss any findings immediately after the endoscopy. If a biopsy was taken, the patient may need a follow up visit or the doctor may call in with the results.



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