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Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

What you should know

Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is also called esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD). A scope (thin, flexible tube with a light) is used to examine the walls of your upper gastrointestinal tract (GIT). The upper GIT includes the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). An EGD is used to look for problems, such as bleeding, polyps, ulcers, or infection.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. You may have a slow heartbeat or low blood pressure. This can cause sweating and fainting. Your GIT may be punctured or torn during the procedure. This is because of increased pressure as the scope and air are passing through. Without this procedure, your signs and symptoms may get worse. Caregivers may not be able to find problems and treat your condition. You may have problems swallowing, eating, or digesting food.

Getting Ready

The week before your procedure:

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.
  • Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
  • Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
  • Dye may be used during your procedure. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.
  • You may need blood tests or x-rays before your procedure. Talk to your caregiver about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.

The night before your procedure:

Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your procedure:

  • Ask your caregiver before taking any medicine on the day of your procedure. These medicines include insulin, diabetic pills, high blood pressure pills, or heart pills. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital.
  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
  • Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.


What will happen:

  • Your caregiver will give you medicine to help you relax and make you drowsy. It will also help prevent coughing or gagging. Your caregiver will gently insert the endoscope through your mouth and down into your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. You may be asked to swallow to help move the scope down your throat. Your caregiver will watch the scope on a monitor as it moves down your GIT. He will take pictures with the scope. He may inject air or water into your GIT so he can see clearly. Suction will be used to remove air, water, blood, or other liquid.
  • Your caregiver may inject fluid under tissues that look suspicious or use dye to mark them. This is done so the tissues are easier to remove. He may take tissue samples and send them to the lab for tests. He may remove foreign objects, tumors, or polyps that may be blocking your esophagus, stomach, or duodenum. Your caregiver may also insert tools with the scope to treat bleeding or place a stent (tube). When the procedure is finished, the endoscope will be slowly removed and your mouth will be wiped with gauze.

After your procedure:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Caregivers will monitor you closely for any problems. You may burp or pass gas from air that is in your stomach and bowel. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you will be allowed to go home. If you are staying in the hospital, you will be taken to your hospital room.

Contact a caregiver if

  • You cannot make it to your procedure.
  • You have a fever.
  • Your signs and symptoms are getting worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about your procedure.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • You are not able to eat or drink.
  • You urinate less than usual or not at all.
  • You have blood in your vomit or bowel movement.
  • Your abdomen becomes tender and hard.

Further information

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

Learn more about Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (Precare)

Micromedex® Care Notes