Upper endoscopy is another name for esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or EGD. An EGD is a procedure using a flexible scope that allows direct visualization of the upper GI track. The upper GI tract includes the esophagus, stomach and duodenum — the first part of the small intestine. An EGD allows a physician to diagnose and treat abnormalities related to the upper GI track, such as chronic abdominal pain, ulcers, bleeding, difficulty swallowing, acid reflex and persistent vomiting. Your stomach must be empty for the procedure to be accurate and safe. You will not be able to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the procedure or for six to eight hours beforehand, depending on the time of the procedure.
How should I prepare for an EGD?
Most medications should be continued as usual, but some may interfere with the examination. It is best that the physician and the nursing staff are informed of all current prescription and over-the-counter medications. Aspirin products, blood thinners, arthritis medications, diabetes medications and iron preparations are examples of medications that may require special instructions. The physician and nurse will also want to be aware of your allergies and any other major illnesses. Instructions may also be given to avoid certain foods for a couple of days prior to the procedure, such as stringy foods, foods with seeds or red Jell-O.