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Gastroenterology Associates, P.C.
2222 53rd Avenue
Bettendorf, Iowa 52722

Phone: 563-383-2686
Fax: 563-884-8144
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Affiliated With Genesis Medical Center

Endoscopy (EGD)

After medical evaluation of your problem, it is felt that an upper GI Endoscopy, also called esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD, is necessary for further evaluation and treatment of your condition. An Endoscopy or EGD is a diagnostic test using a computerized video tube which has its own camera and light source allowing the physician to examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). This tube is smaller in diameter than most foods swallowed and it is passed through the mouth easily over the tongue. Gagging is reduced by Xylocaine Spray which numbs the throat. The scope is generally well tolerated. The airway is not entered so there is no obstruction to air flow to the lungs. Abnormalities seen on x-ray can be confirmed and other abnormalities may be seen. If an abnormal area is seen, a biopsy may be done for evaluation under the microscope. Biopsies are taken for many reasons and in and of themselves do not necessarily imply cancer. Other instruments may be passed through the endoscope which allow for brushing of tissue, removing abnormal growths (which are usually benign) or passage of other devices to try and stop bleeding.

Endoscopy (EGD) FAQs

What preparation is required for the best possible examination?

For the best possible examination, the stomach should be empty. You should have nothing to eat or drink including water from midnight the evening before or at least 6 hours prior to the examination. Under special circumstances medications may be taken prior to the test with sips of water. Please ask your doctor about this if you are taking any medications for ongoing or long standing medical problems. After the procedure, arrangements should be made for transportation home as medications given during the procedure to help you relax may interfere with your judgment and affect your reflexes needed for driving. As a result, even though you may not feel tired at the end of the procedure, you will not be allowed to drive.

What should I expect during the procedure?

You will check into the out-patient surgery area approximately 1 hour before the procedure. There, a nurse will take a brief history, start an IV, and check your vital signs. At that time of the procedure, you will be brought to the Endoscopy Suite where the procedure will be preformed. Your throat may be sprayed with a local anesthetic to diminish gagging. Medication will be given through your vein to make you relaxed and sleepy. After the desired level of sedation is achieved, the endoscope will be passed through the mouth, and the esophagus, stomach and duodenum may be examined. The procedure is well tolerated, with minimal discomfort, and many persons sleep through the procedure. The tube will not interfere with your breathing.

Are there any complications from endoscopy?

This is a safe procedure with low risk. Complications can occur but are rare. One possible complication is perforation, in which a tear through the wall of the upper gastrointestinal tract may occur. This may require surgery to heal. Another complication is bleeding, which may occur at the site of the biopsy or polyp removal. Bleeding is usually minimal but may require transfusions or surgery to stop it on rare occasions. Inflammation of the vein may occur at the site of medication injection. This area may become tender and this can last for a short time or even up to months after the procedure. Other risks include drug reactions and complications from unrelated diseases such as heart attacks or strokes. Death is extremely rare but remains a remote possibility.

What happens after the endoscopy?

You will be kept in the endoscopic area for a brief period of time after the procedure. You will then be transported to the recovery area. If you are comfortable, clear liquids may be given to you while in this area. Your throat may be a little sore for a couple of hours and you may feel bloated for a period of time after the procedure because air was introduced to examine your stomach. Later on in the day, unless otherwise instructed, your regular diet may be resumed.

Why is EGD necessary?

EGD may be helpful in the diagnosis of inflammation of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, and to identify the site of upper gastrointestinal bleeding. These diagnoses cannot definitely be made by x-ray. EGD is more accurate than x-ray in detecting ulcers – especially where bleeding or scarring from prior ulcers or surgery exists. EGD may detect early cancers which are too small to be seen by x-ray. Diagnosis can be preformed by biopsy and brushings. EGD may also be therapeutic. For example, narrowed areas of the esophagus and pylorus (the outlet of the stomach) can be enlarged and foreign objects can be removed. Many studies are underway to evaluate the control of gastrointestinal bleeding through the endoscope. Safe, effective endoscopic control of bleeding can reduce the need for transfusion and/or surgery. EGD is extremely worthwhile. It is normally well tolerated and safe and it is invaluable in the diagnosis and proper management of disorders of the upper gastrointestinal tract.

Is endoscopy safe?

Endoscopy is a safe and extremely worthwhile procedure which is well tolerated. The decision to perform this procedure was based upon and assessment of your particular problem. If you have any questions about your need to have endoscopy, do not hesitate to speak to your doctor. We will be happy to discuss in further detail with you the technical aspects of the procedure, the risks and complications of the procedure and the reasons for performing the procedure. In addition, questions abut cost, methods of billing and insurance coverage may be resolved.

Testimonials From Some Of Our Patients

"Your care and service was great. Thanks to all of the doctors and nurses for making me so comfortable."

"Thank you for all the kind, compassionate care you gave me last week when I was here for my procedure. I was very nervous after some previous horrid experiences, but everyone went out of their way to keep me comfortable. The back rub while the drugs were kicking in was a wonderful touch!"

"Everyone at the Center for Digestive health is very skilled, pleasant and professional."

"You were on time, very affiancing, and very nice. Thank you."