An upper endoscopy, also known as EGD, is a procedure that a gastroenterologist (a doctor who specializes in digestive system diseases) can utilize to examine your upper digestive tract. This area includes the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine (duodenum). In order to examine these areas, your doctor will use a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera and light on the end.
In this blog, Manhattan Gastroenterologist, Dr. Anthony S. Borcich, will explain what’s involved in an upper endoscopy procedure.
What is an upper endoscopy procedure?
An upper endoscopy is also referred to as an upper GI endoscopy, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), or gastroscopy. This procedure uses a EGD scope (consisting of a digital camera and LED light sources) to painlessly examine the lining of the throat (esophagus), the stomach, and the upper part of the small intestine (duodenum) while the patient is comfortably sedated.
The scope is a thin, flexible tube that has a light and tiny camera on the end. It slips easily into the mouth, down the throat (esophagus), and goes all the way down through the stomach to the upper small intestine (duodenum).
With this flexible scope, Dr. Borcich can closely examine the internal structures of your upper digestive tract, looking for signs of inflammation, ulcers, celiac disease, tumors, bleeding, or infections. The procedure also allows him to collect tissue samples (biopsies), remove polyps, and relieve certain swallowing problems.
Why is an upper endoscopy procedure performed?
An upper endoscopy procedure is performed to investigate symptoms that may point to issues in the upper digestive tract and to accurately diagnose problems. In some cases – such as widening or clearing a blocked esophagus – it can even be used to treat conditions.
You might be asked to have an upper endoscopy because of suspected conditions that include ulcers, tumors, polyps, abnormal narrowing of the throat, or inflammation. In addition, the procedure might be recommended for suspected gluten intolerance in order to diagnose celiac disease.
Other symptoms that may require you to have an upper endoscopy performed include:
- Swallowing problems
- Blood in the stool
- Spitting up blood
- Persistent or recurring heartburn
- Nausea and/or vomiting that won’t go away
- Abdominal or chest pain
- Pain or bloating in the upper belly
- Unexplained weight loss
- Anemia that may be caused by upper GI bleeding
What is involved in an upper endoscopy procedure?
Before the procedure begins, you’ll receive an anesthetic in order to help you relax and not feel any discomfort. Dr. Borcich will have you lie on your side, and you’ll still be able to breathe normally when the endoscopic tube is inserted. You may feel a little pressure, but you shouldn’t feel any pain.
The tiny camera at the tip of the endoscopic tube will transmit images to a video monitor that Dr. Borcich can see as he’s performing the procedure. He can also record these images to view later.
The entire procedure usually takes around 15 to 20 minutes. However, it some cases it may take longer, depending on what is found and whether a biopsy is needed.
Where can I have an upper endoscopy procedure performed in NYC?
Dr. Borcich performs most of his upper endoscopy procedures at Manhattan Endoscopy Center, New York City’s newest and most modern endoscopy center.
This state-of-the-art facility offers the latest technology and equipment, which is combined with a commitment to making each patient’s procedure as efficient and pleasant as possible. Patients have the convenience and personal attention that they’d receive with an office-based procedure while knowing that the procedure is done in an environment that follows hospital-level safety standards.
If you believe you have symptoms that may warrant an upper endoscopy, the first step is scheduling an evaluation with an experienced Manhattan gastroenterologist.
Anthony Borcich, M.D. has more than 30 years of experience in diagnosing and treating gastrointestinal disorders and is known for his compassionate care and personalized approach.
Schedule an appointment today by contacting our office or filling out the schedule appointment form on this page.