Upper Endoscopy or EGD

Upper endoscopy (commonly referred to as an EGD, indicating an exam of the esophagus, stomach, duodenum) is the examination of the upper digestive tract. It uses a flexible endoscope that is passed through the mouth into the esophagus, stomach and a portion of the small bowel (duodenum). Conscious sedation is used for most diagnostic examinations which includes exams where both biopsies and dilations can be performed. Conscious sedation does not require an anesthesiologist but is performed by physicians and registered nurses trained in administering medications that are used in this type of sedation. The examination requires very little time to perform, on the average of about 10 to 15 minutes.

Some upper endoscopic exams (EGD) may require an anesthesiologist. These are procedures usually requiring more time and more advanced intervention. Unfortunately this will increase the overall cost of the exam (anesthesiologist and hospital fee). This would require the test to be done as an out patient in the hospital. Some patients may have medications that they routinely take which may require the use of Propofol (medication that requires a nurse anesthetist or anesthesiologist).

EGD’s are typically performed for upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, anemia, difficulty swallowing, Barrett’s esophagus, blood loss thought to be secondary to upper digestive disease and others.

Preparation for an EGD is nothing to eat or drink for at least four hours.

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