What is an EGD Test & What is it Used for?

By: | Tags: , , , | Comments: 0 | March 30th, 2017

doctor holding an endoscope

What is an EGD test?

An EGD test is a procedure in which a doctor passes a thin, flexible, lighted tube called an endoscope down your throat to see the lining of your esophagus, stomach, and the first part of your small intestine (duodenum).

An EGD test is also known as an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, upper GI endoscopy, or an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy.

If you have symptoms such as difficulty swallowing or persistent heartburn, an EGD test may help your doctor diagnose the cause of your symptoms and develop a treatment plan to help.

In this blog, Manhattan gastroenterologist Dr. Anthony Borcich will explain what an EGD test is used for.


When is an EGD test performed?

An EGD test can help your doctor identify problems in your upper GI tract. It can also be used to conduct certain treatments, check to see how an already-diagnosed disease is responding to treatment or to collect tissue samples (biopsy) for further testing.

The following symptoms, if they can’t be explained or have failed to respond to other forms of treatment, may warrant the use of an EGD test to determine their cause:

  • Vomiting blood
  • Black or tarry stools
  • Chronic heartburn
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Upper abdominal pain, discomfort, or bloating
  • Swallowing issues
  • A feeling that food is stuck behind your breastbone
  • Unexplained anemia
  • Unexplained weight loss

An EGD test can be used to diagnose ulcers, tumors, inflammation, or celiac disease.

It can also be used treat certain conditions, such as upper GI bleeding. In addition, if your doctor sees polyps inside your esophagus, stomach, or duodenum, these can be removed during an EGD.

Do I need to prepare for an EGD test?

Very little preparation is required for an EGD test, but you’ll receive specific instructions about what you need to do. You’ll also need to arrange for someone to drive you home since you’ll be receiving sedation.

Your stomach will need to be empty, so you should stop drinking and eating for eight hours prior to your procedure. Talk to your doctor about any medications – including over-the-counter medicines and supplements – you take to receive so he can give you instructions about whether you’ll need to temporarily stop taking them before your EGD.

What is involved in an EGD test?

Anesthesia will be administered so you’ll be comfortable and relaxed during your EGD test.

You’ll lay on your side during the procedure, and Dr. Borcich will gently insert the endoscope down your throat. You may feel some pressure, but you shouldn’t feel any pain, and you’ll be able to breathe normally.

As the endoscope is passed down your esophagus, he’ll be able to view images transmitted from a tiny camera on the endoscope to a video monitor. This will allow Dr. Borcich to look for signs of any abnormalities, and if needed, he can pass special tools through the endoscope to remove polyps or collect a tissue sample.

An EGD test usually takes about 30 minutes, but it may take longer if your doctor performs additional procedures such as polyp removal.

If you have chronic heartburn, swallowing issues, persistent nausea or vomiting, or other gastrointestinal symptoms, make an appointment with Dr. Borcich today. He can conduct any necessary tests, such as an EGD test, to correctly diagnose the cause of your symptoms and devise an effective treatment plan.