150 North Robertson Blvd., Suite 204 Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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​Upper Endoscopy

EGD or Esophagogastroduodenoscopy

What Is an Upper Endoscopy? 

An Upper Endoscopy is a procedure performed by a Gastroenterologist to examine the upper section of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first portion of your small intestine). During the procedure, a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope is used to transmit high quality images of the inside lining of your gastrointestinal tract to a video monitor.

 When Would I Need an Upper Endoscopy?

Your physician may recommend an Upper Endoscopy to evaluate certain upper gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn or reflux, difficulty swallowing, and abdominal pain. Upper Endoscopy has been found to be more accurate than x-ray studies for the detection of inflammation, ulcers, and tumors of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, and it is the best test for finding the cause of bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract. Your doctor might use an Upper Endoscopy to obtain a tissue sample or biopsy. Biopsies are taken for many reasons including distinguishing between benign and malignant (cancerous) conditions. Upper Endoscopy is also used to treat many conditions of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Your physician can pass instruments through the endoscope to directly treat many abnormalities. Examples include the treatment of bleeding, the removal of polyps or growths, and the dilatation (stretching) of narrowed areas. 

How Do I Prepare for an Upper Endoscopy?

Our staff at bhg will give you detailed instructions in advance. Preparation for an Upper Endoscopy is safe and simple. You will be asked to fast for your procedure as an empty stomach allows for an accurate and safe examination. Tell your doctor about any medical problems that you have and bring a complete list of your allergies and medications, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. Alert your doctor if you require antibiotics prior to dental or surgical procedures.  

What Can I Expect During an Upper Endoscopy?

Patients are generally sedated for an Upper Endoscopy. Our doctors at bhg always use an anesthesiologist to administer your sedation. This is the safest way of having a procedure performed. Using an anesthesiologist allows your physician to concentrate his or her efforts on performing your procedure while your anesthesiologist monitors your vital signs and makes sure you remain comfortable. During the procedure, you will be lying on your left side. A bite block will be placed into your mouth. Your doctor will pass the endoscope through your mouth into your esophagus and stomach and finally into your duodenum. The endoscope does not interfere with your breathing. While the endoscope is being passed, air may be introduced to help your Gastroenterologist see better. The procedure usually takes only 10 to 15 minutes to perform. 

What Happens After an Upper Endoscopy?

You will be monitored for a short period of time until most of the effects of your sedation have worn off and you will be able to eat unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Our staff will give you detailed instructions. You will not be allowed to drive after your examination as the sedation used during the procedure can affect your reflexes and judgment. You should therefore arrange for someone to drive you home. Your physician will be able to tell you your test results once you are awake. However, the results of any biopsies can take a few days (and sometimes up to a week) to get back. 

What Are the Risks of Having an Upper Endoscopy?

Complications may occur, but they are rare when a Board Certified Gastroenterologist who is specially trained and experienced performs the Upper Endoscopy. Potential risks include: having a reaction to the sedation being used, bleeding (usually self-limited), having complications from heart or lung disease, and perforation (a tear in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract).

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