Upper Endoscopy

Upper endoscopy is a procedure used to visually examine the upper digestive system (esophagus, stomach and duodenum). The procedure is used to determine the reason for swallowing difficulties, nausea, vomiting, reflux, bleeding, indigestion, and abdominal or chest pain. Upper endoscopy is sometimes referred to as EGD, which stands for esophagogastroduodenoscopy.

The Procedure

The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes. You should plan to be with us until you are fully awake and taking fluids, two (2) hours maximum.

  • Prior to the procedure, an anesthesia provider will administer sedation to minimize discomfort
  • During the endoscopy, you will swallow a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera attached, called an endoscope
  • Once the procedure is underway, the physician uses the endoscope to transmit an image of the inside of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum to a nearby monitor
  • Air is inserted into the stomach through the scope, allowing for a thorough examination of the stomach folds and lining
  • If the physician finds anything unusual during the exam, such as an ulcer or inflamed tissue, a biopsy will be performed to remove a small piece of the affected tissue, which is sent to the lab for testing


Preparing For Your Appointment

For the physician to complete a safe and thorough procedure, your stomach and duodenum must be completely empty. To prepare for the procedure, you must:

  • Stop eating food at midnight
  • Drink clear liquids to take your medications, up until three (3) hours prior to your procedure
  • Nothing by mouth three (3) hours prior to your procedure
  • Arrange for someone to take you to your home after the procedure


On the day of the endoscopy, please follow the preparation instructions provided. It is important to bring the following items:

  • List of medications
  • List of allergies
  • List of any past medical problems and/or surgeries
  • Insurance information

After Your Appointment

After your endoscopy, you will be observed closely by our nurses until you are fully awake. Many people do not even remember the procedure due to the sedative medication. Before you leave, your physician will discuss any preliminary findings with you. The nursing staff will assess that you are ready to leave and provide final instructions.


  • Drive or operate mechanical equipment until the next day
  • Do not drink alcohol for at least 24 hours


Bleeding and puncture of the stomach lining are possible complications of an endoscopy, however these complications are extremely rare. Most patients will probably experience nothing more than a mild sore throat following the procedure.


A full report will be sent to your personal physician, and biopsy results are usually available in 7-10 business days.