Lakeview Health System

Indications for an upper endoscopy (EGD) include:

  • Iron deficiency anemia (a decrease in blood count)
  • Removal of foreign body (e.g. button, coin) or lodged food (meat, chicken bone)
  • Follow up of Baretts Esophagus or a gastric ulcer
  • Unexplained (non-cardiac) chest pain
  • Unexplained weight loss and vomiting
  • Bleeding
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphasia)

What is an Upper Endoscopy?
Upper endoscopy enables the physician to look inside the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). The procedure might be used to discover the reason for swallowing difficulties, nausea, vomiting, reflux, bleeding, indigestion, abdominal pain, or chest pain. Upper endoscopy is also called EGD, which stands foresophagogastroduodenoscopy (eh-SAH-fuh-goh-GAS-troh-doo-AH-duh-NAH-skuh-pee).

For the procedure you will swallow a thin, flexible, lighted tube called an endoscope (EN-doh-skope). Right before the procedure the physician will spray your throat with a numbing agent that may help prevent gagging. You may also receive pain medicine and a sedative to help you relax during the exam. The endoscope transmits an image of the inside of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, so the physician can carefully examine the lining of these organs. The scope also blows air into the stomach; this expands the folds of tissue and makes it easier for the physician to examine the stomach.

Preparation for an Upper Endoscopy:
Your stomach and duodenum must be empty for the procedure to be thorough and safe, so you will not be able to eat or drink anything for at least 6 hours beforehand. Also, you must arrange for someone to take you home—you will not be allowed to drive because of the sedatives. Your physician may give you other special instructions.

More Information

  • American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) - National Office 4930 Del Ray Avenue Bethesda, MD 20814 | Phone: 301–654–2055 Fax: 301–654–5920
  • National Digestive Diseases Information - Clearinghouse 2 Information Way Bethesda, MD 20892–3570 | Email: