What is an EGD?
An esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a procedure that allows your doctor to examine the inside of your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, using a thin, flexible instrument called an endoscope. The endoscope contains a light and camera that transmits pictures of the inside of your esophagus, stomach and upper intestine (duodenum) to a video screen. EGD is used to help make a diagnosis of diseases and disorders of the upper gastrointestinal tract, such as peptic ulcers, and can also be used to treat certain conditions, such as upper GI bleeding and removal of swallowed objects.
The esophagus is a muscular tube located in the upper GI tract that connects your mouth to your stomach. The duodenum follows the stomach and is the first section of your small intestine. EGD can help your doctor find the reason for unexplained symptoms you may be having, such as difficulty swallowing, abdominal pain, vomiting blood, or heartburn. EGD is also known as an upper GI endoscopy, gastroscopy, or upper endoscopy.
EGD is a minimally invasive procedure that is generally performed as an outpatient procedure. The procedure does not require an incision, and generally has a quick recovery and a very low risk of complications. EGD is only one method used to treat and diagnose conditions of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. You should discuss all of your options with your doctor or healthcare provider to best understand which option is right for you.
Other procedures that may be performed
Your doctor may also recommend one or more additional procedures that can be performed during your esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) to diagnose or treat certain conditions. Additional procedures or treatments will vary depending on your symptoms or diagnosis. Thefollowing procedures may be performed during the EGD procedure:
- Botulinum toxin injection into the lower esophageal sphincter to relieve difficulty swallowing due to hypertensive lower esophageal sphincter
- Chromoendoscopy, which involves spraying dye into the esophagus to highlight abnormal tissue
- Control of bleeding using electrocautery, injection or clips
- Dilation of the esophagus or duodenum that is too narrow, often due to scar tissue
- Endoscopic injection therapy, which is the application of medication that shrinks esophageal varices (enlarged veins in the esophagus that can bleed)
- Fluorescence spectroscopy to identify abnormal tissue that may be cancerous
- Foreign body removal, or removal of food or other objectthat is stuck in the gastrointestinal tract
- Removal of polyps, which are abnormal growths that can become cancerous
- Tissue biopsy, which involves removing samples of abnormal looking intestinal tissues to be examined for disease or cancer
- Variceal ligation for treatment of esophageal varices by tying them off with elastic bands
Why is an EGD performed?
Your doctor may recommend an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) to diagnose and possibly treat a variety of diseases and conditions of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum, which is the first section of the small intestine. These include:
- Cancer, tumor, or mass of the esophagus, stomach or duodenum
- Crohn’s disease, a form of inflammatory bowel disease
- Early fullness after eating small meals. Also known as early satiety, feeling full fast after eating a small amount of food can be due to problems in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Esophageal varices, which are swollen veins in the esophagus that can bleed
- Foreign body evaluation and removal
- Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain, chronic vomiting, heartburn, regurgitation, and dysphagia (the sensation of food being stuck), or odynophagia (painful swallowing) if the underlying cause has not been found through other, less invasive tests
- Tissue biopsy, which involves removing samples of tissues to be examined for disease or malignancy
- Unexplained weight loss if the underlying cause has not been found through less invasive tests
- Upper gastrointestinal bleeding, which can manifest as unexplained anemia, vomiting blood, or black or tarry stools
- Upper gastrointestinal diseases, such as peptic ulcer, Barrett’s esophagus, strictures, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux, hiatal hernia, or heartburn
© Copyright 2012 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. For specific medical advice, diagnoses and treatment, consult your doctor.