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Upper Endoscopy in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What do I need to know about an upper endoscopy?

An upper endoscopy is also called an upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy, or an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD). A scope (thin, flexible tube with a light and camera) is used to examine the walls of your child's upper intestines. The upper intestines include the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). An upper endoscopy is used to look for problems, such as bleeding, swelling, polyps, ulcers, or infection. An upper endoscopy in children is often used to find the cause of abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing, or nausea and vomiting. It may also be done to remove foreign bodies such as a swallowed coin or toy.

Upper Endoscopy (Child)

How do I prepare my child for an upper endoscopy?

What will happen during an upper endoscopy?

What will happen after an upper endoscopy?

Your child may feel bloated, gassy, or have some abdominal discomfort or distention. Your child's throat may be sore for 24 to 36 hours after the procedure. It is normal for your child to spit up a small amount of blood. Your child may burp or pass gas from air that is still inside the body after the procedure. Your child may need to take short walks or lie on his or her left side to help move the gas out. Your child may be able to go home after he or she is awake and can drink liquids.

What are the risks of an upper endoscopy?

Your child's esophagus, stomach, or duodenum may be punctured or torn during the procedure. This is because of increased pressure as the scope and air are passing through. Your child may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your child may have a slow or irregular heartbeat, or low blood pressure, during the procedure. This can cause sweating and fainting. Fluid may enter your child's lungs and he or she may have trouble breathing. These problems can be life-threatening.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.