Upper GI endoscopy
An upper GI endoscopy, also known as an Esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD, is a procedure in which an endoscope is used to examine the inner linings of the upper GI tract. It is a simple procedure that takes about 15 to 30 minutes.
Upper GI endoscopy is performed to identify a variety of health conditions including bleeding ulcers, nutritional deficiencies, anaemia, cancer and precancerous abnormalities. It is also used to trace out small pieces of tissue for a biopsy to diagnose serious health issues like cancer, gastritis and celiac disease.
How is it performed?
- The procedure begins by sedating the patient to keep them relaxed and comfortable. The sedative is usually provided through an intravenous (IV) needle that will be inserted in the arm.
- Sometimes, the sedative is replaced with a liquid anaesthetic that the patient is asked to gargle or an anaesthetic spray applied on the back of the throat. This will numb the throat and keep gag reflexes in control.
- Once the patient is sedated, they will be asked to tie down on one side on an examination table. Most patients fall asleep due to the effects of the sedation and do not feel any interference in breathing.
- The gastroenterologist then gently inserts the endoscope down the oesophagus until it reaches the stomach and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). The video output of the camera installed at the tip of the endoscope will be projected in an external monitor. The endoscope also pumps air into the stomach and duodenum for a clearer image.
- The gastroenterologist uses the video output to closely examine the inner lining of the upper GI tract. He/she will then either perform a biopsy, address any internal bleeding or perform other specialised procedures.