Upper endoscopy helps Duke’s physicians diagnose and provide the best treatment for problems such as swallowing difficulties, nausea, vomiting, reflux, bleeding, indigestion, abdominal pain, or chest pain.
This procedure enables the physician to look inside the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). Upper endoscopy is also called EGD, which stands for esophagogastroduodenoscopy (eh-SAH-fuh-goh-GAS-troh-doo-AH-duh-NAH-skuh-pee).
The patient will swallow a thin, flexible, lighted tube called an endoscope (EN-doh-skope). Before the procedure the physician will spray the patient's throat with a numbing agent that will help prevent gagging. The patient may also receive pain medicine and a sedative to help them 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, expanding the folds of tissue which facilitates the physician's examination of the stomach.
Here the physician can observe abnormalities, such as inflammation or bleeding, through the endoscope that don't appear on x-rays. The physician can also insert instruments into the scope to treat bleeding abnormalities or to remove samples of tissue (biopsy) for further tests.
Possible complications of upper endoscopy include bleeding and puncture of the stomach lining. However, such complications are rare. Patients will normally have nothing more than a mild sore throat after the procedure.
The procedure takes 20 to 30 minutes. Because the patient will be sedated, they will need to rest after the procedure at the endoscopy facility for one to two hours until the medication wears off.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 919-684-6437.
Information for referring physicians can be found on the Appointments and Referrals page.
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