Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) in Washington

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An esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or upper GI endoscopy, is an endoscopic procedure where a long, thin, soft tube, or “scope,” is situated into a patient’s mouth and snaked to the small intestine. The scope has a light and camera on the end, which allows our GI specialists at Washington Gastroenterology to look effortlessly at the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and the start of the small intestine.

An esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is performed to determine the cause of GI issues, like abdominal pain, heartburn or acid reflux, difficulty swallowing, bleeding, or unusual findings from an x-ray. An EGD may also be performed for Washington patients with persistent heartburn to look for signs of esophageal cancer. Should you need an EGD, please request a consultation with a local GI specialist at Washington Gastroenterology.


What are the benefits of an EGD?

An esophagogastroduodenoscopy is often beneficial for a number of reasons. The test can allow your GI doctor to directly evaluate the inner structures of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (or the first part of the small intestine). Other benefits of an EGD are:

  • Aids in identifying a number of GI problems (such as gastrointestinal infections, Crohn's disease, GERD, celiac disease, and others)
  • Allows for the removal of polyps, the biopsy of tissues, and other small procedures
  • Can help diagnose the causes of symptoms, like pain or discomfort, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting
  • Generally provides a safe, quick, and efficient process

You will be given instructions from your gastroenterologist regarding the needed preparatory steps for an EGD. Most patients will be allowed to eat normally on the day leading up to the upper endoscopy. You may be instructed not to take anything by mouth after midnight except for necessary medications. It is essential to follow the requirements provided by our team at Washington Gastroenterology. We’ll also give you additional directions regarding your medications. Generally, you won't need to make any changes to your medication regimen. This may not be true of all medications, particularly those on blood thinners (i.e., Coumadin®, warfarin, Plavix®, aspirin, anti-inflammatories) or for diabetics. In these cases, our team will provide different instructions.

You will be asked to arrive at our Washington office approximately 1 – 1.5 hours prior to your procedure. You will be asked to replace your clothes with a medical gown. An intravenous (IV) catheter will be put in your arm or another area so we can begin the sedation process. You will be connected to special equipment that will allow your GI specialist to monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and more during and after your EGD.

After getting to the exam room, you will be asked to lie on your left side on our exam table. IV sedation will be started. From there, we’ll gently insert the endoscope into your mouth. The endoscope will be strategically snaked through the esophagus, stomach, and the first portion of the small intestine, the duodenum. We will inject a small amount of air through the scope into the gastrointestinal tract, which will help us see better. Any fluid left over in the upper gastrointestinal tract will be suctioned through the endoscope. Depending on the exam findings, various things could be done, including biopsies, the removal of polyps, and the control of bleeding. You can expect the exam to take approximately 10 – 20 minutes. Following the exam, you will be taken to one of our comfortable recovery rooms to be monitored while the sedation starts to wear off.

Once the exam is complete, our GI specialist will go over the outcome of the exam with you. Many patients can’t remember what they were told later on because of the effects of IV sedation. We encourage you to bring someone with you with whom the results can also be shared. We can also give you a typed-up report of what we discussed. You will likely be informed of any biopsy results in about a week.

What are the risks of an EGD?

Typically, an EGD, or upper endoscopy, is very safe. Generally, difficulties occur in about 1% of cases. Most complications are not life-threatening; however, if a complication occurs, it might result in hospitalization and surgery. Before beginning your EGD, a consent form will be reviewed with you by the nursing staff. Should you have any questions or concerns, these can be discussed with our team ahead of your EGD.

Such as any other test, an EGD is not foolproof. There is a slight, established possibility that irregularities, like cancers, may go unnoticed during the EGD. It’s imperative to keep up with our gastrointestinal provider and let them know of any recent or constant symptoms.

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To an extent, your alternatives to the esophagogastroduodenoscopy will hinge on the reason for needing an EGD in the first place. Typically, an upper endoscopy is the standard way to test for and address any suspicious findings in the upper GI tract. An upper GI/barium swallow, a particular type of x-ray, can also assess your upper GI tract. This is, however, just a diagnostic test. The treatment of any findings would require an EGD or other surgery.

If you or someone you love is undergoing unpleasant problems, such as consistent heartburn, difficulty swallowing, or intestinal pain, you might benefit from a diagnostic EGD. You can find an expert gastroenterologist who offers an EGD in Washington by contacting our team. Get in touch with a local Washington Gastroenterology today to request an appointment with a provider near you.


Is an EGD the same as an upper endoscopy?

You might hear an EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) referred to by a few different names. Sometimes, it may be referenced as an "upper endoscopy" or a "gastroscopy." Even though these names may be different, they are generally the same thing as an EGD.

What are regarded as "normal" results for an EGD test?

Results that are "normal" for an EGD typically indicate that the physician did not visualize abnormalities in the upper portion of the GI tract. However, normal EGD results may be indicated by a normal color and smooth texture in your esophageal, stomach, and duodenal areas. Additionally, there should be no signs of growths, bleeding, or inflammation within these structures. It's vital to remember that a "normal" result doesn't always mean that no health concerns are present. Some concerns may not be apparent with an EGD or may be located in another area of the gastrointestinal tract, beyond the reach of the endoscope used to conduct the test.

When would an EGD be requested?

Your Washington Gastroenterology doctor may prescribe an esophagogastroduodenoscopy procedure if you have Crohn's disease or liver cirrhosis to help monitor such medical conditions. In addition, an EGD test might be recommended if you are experiencing:

  • Black or tarry stool
  • Vomiting of blood
  • Heartburn
  • Pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Persistent nausea
What should I bring to my EGD appointment?

When you arrive for your EGD, you may need to fill out some patient forms. Therefore, it is important to bring your insurance card and ID with you to your appointment. It also can be helpful to bring a written list of all medications you take, their dosages, and the reason for taking them. We suggest that you keep any valuables, such as jewelry, at home.

Excellent care. Easy to schedule, lots of time spent explaining the procedure. Everyone was so nice and caring.

L.M. Google

Great staff Michelle Hendrix is excellent—knowledgeable, kind and professional.

L.N. Google

Staff was professional and the environment was full of joy and some jokes ( the nurses who spoke to me in the beginning). Each part of the team explained every part of the process. Asked if I had any questions during each step. Dr. Tan spoke to me about my previous procedure results. After this current procedure he explained the results and biopsy sent to the lab for results. Paul had a challenging time to get my veins to pop up but he persisted and got it the first time- a real pro. The anesthesiologist explained the medication she was using. Asked me several questions and asked me if I had any questions. She warned me about a slight burning sensation and boom I was out. I recommended this office to triwest and told them you all rock.

D.W. Google

The staff always prompt to answer questions, They’re gentle and the environment is pleasant. And I Highly Recommend it….

N.A. Google

Great staff.

D.V. Google


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