Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (EGD)

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What is an EGD?

An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy procedure known as an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) allows for examination, biopsy and some treatment of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum for heartburn, upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, intestinal bleeding or diarrhea.

The procedure uses an endoscope, a small, flexible tube with a light and camera at the end that is inserted through your mouth while you’re sedated.

The physician can look for inflammation, ulcers, bleeding and tumors. Your physician also can treat your condition through the endoscope. Instruments can be passed through the endoscope to treat bleeding, remove polyps, obtain a biopsy or stretch a narrowed area that prevents food from passing normally.

Board-certified and fellowship-trained gastroenterologists at Norton Healthcare Gastroenterology have been performing upper endoscopy procedures in Louisville and Southern Indiana for decades.

How Long Does an Upper Endoscopy Take?

Upper endoscopy is performed as an outpatient procedure. The procedure itself takes an average of 10 to 15 minutes to complete and is painless.

During an upper endoscopy procedure most patients receive “conscious sedation.” This means you will be given intravenous medication to relax you and keep you comfortable during the procedure. These medications often cause you to not remember the procedure or events that occur shortly after it.

To prepare for the procedure, you will be placed on your left side, and a “bite block” will be inserted into your mouth. The endoscope is then passed through the block and into your upper gastrointestinal tract.

How to Prepare for an Upper Endoscopy Procedure

Before the procedure is scheduled, you will need to tell the physician all the medications you take, including over-the-counter medications. Bring a list of medications (include name, strength and dosage) you are currently taking and any surgeries you have had to your appointment.

If you take insulin, do not take it on the day of your procedure until after procedure has been performed. Your doctor will tell you which medications you should take on the day of your procedure and any other instructions you need to follow.

Please notify us if you are currently taking any of the following medications:

  • Plavix (clopidogrel)
  • Effient (prasugrel)
  • Brilinta (ticagrelor)
  • Ticlid (ticlopidine)
  • Coumadin (warfarin)
  • Eliquis (apixaban)
  • Aggrenox (aspirin/dipyridamole)
  • Pradaxa (dabigatran)
  • Persantine (dipyridamole)
  • Xarelto (rivaroxaban)

We will advise you to discontinue or adjust these medications or ask you to consult with your primary care physician or cardiologist prior to your procedure.

Do not eat or drink for eight hours before your appointment, including gum. Certain medications, such as blood pressure medicine, should be taken with a small sip of water the morning of your test.

Someone will need to drive you home and stay with you for a few hours after the procedure. While at the hospital, your driver will need to remain in the endoscopy department until the procedure has been completed.

What to Expect After an Upper Endoscopy Procedure

After the procedure you will go to a recovery area for a short time, until the sedation wears off. Some patients have a mild sore throat or feel some abdominal bloating.

Because of the sedation, you will not be able to drive or work for the rest of the day or evening. You should not operate machinery or make legal decisions for the rest of the day/evening.

As with any medical procedure, there are possible complications from endoscopy. These may include a reaction to the sedation, bleeding or perforation (a hole). These are very rare.

Call your physician if you get a fever, have trouble swallowing or have pain in the throat, chest or abdomen.

If you are unable to keep your appointment or need to reschedule, call our office at (502) 896-4711 at least 48 hours prior to your procedure.

If you are going to be late for your procedure, call the hospital’s endoscopy department. If you are scheduled at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital, call (502) 893-1277. If you are scheduled at Norton Brownsboro Hospital, call (502) 446-8200.

About Norton Healthcare Gastroenterology

  • Norton Cancer Institute has nine outpatient locations and multiple infusion centers in Louisville and surrounding counties and Southern Indiana. We have three radiation centers located just off major interstates, with free, self-service parking and valet parking.
  • Our gastrointestinal cancer patient navigator guides you through the treatment process. The navigator is a registered nurse and advocate for patients and families who can help coordinate scheduling to minimize your visits. The navigator provides information and support throughout your diagnosis, treatment and beyond.
  • The Norton Cancer Institute multidisciplinary approach to cancer care means you’ll have access to multiple specialists, including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, interventional radiologists, interventional gastroenterologists, researchers, geneticists and dietitians.
  • We pull together providers from various disciplines to help identify the best treatment for you. At Norton Cancer Institute review boards, you will be considered for innovative clinical trials, immunotherapy, minimally invasive procedures, state-of-the-art radiation and advanced diagnostics.

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