Upper Endoscopy


EGD stands for esophagogastroduodenoscopy, also known as upper endoscopy or gastroscopy. Your doctor performs this examination to view the inner lining of your esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, and approximately five inches of the upper small intestine.

During your initial office visit, you will be asked to sign a consent form authorizing the doctor to perform the examination. The risks, benefits, and alternatives of the procedure will be reviewed with you by your doctor prior to requesting your consent.

After fasting and avoiding any liquid intake for at least six hours, you will arrive at West Chester Endoscopy Center, and a small sterile catheter will be placed in a vein of your arm. Medicine will then be injected through this catheter by a board certified anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist (CRNA), to make you sleepy and relaxed. During the procedure, your blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen level will be monitored.

As you lay on your left side, the doctor will insert a thin, flexible tube into your mouth and gently advance it into your esophagus. By advancing the tube slowly and introducing air, the inner lining of the upper digestive tract can be viewed by your doctor. Often a biopsy specimen (tiny bit of tissue) is taken for microscopic examination by a pathologist. You will not feel any discomfort when the biopsy is performed. Sometimes a dilatation (stretching or widening) is performed during the endoscopy test, due to a narrowing (stricture) in the esophagus. The doctor will explain this to you prior if it might be necessary.

After the examination, you will be taken to a recovery area. Most people have no recollection of the procedure because of the amnesic effects of the medicine. After the procedure, you will feel drowsy and may sleep for a short time. The effects of the medicine will wear off quickly, but you will not be allowed to drive yourself home, as it would be unsafe.

Before you leave the endoscopy center, your doctor will discuss the procedure findings and treatment plans with you. You should have a family member or trusted friend present during this discussion, as the medication you received may make you forgetful. Our nursing staff will provide you with a written copy of the findings and treatment instructions, as well as handouts on appropriate topics. Your primary doctor will receive a report as well.