Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
An upper gastrointestinal (UGI) endoscopy is
a procedure that allows your doctor to look at the interior lining of your
esophagus, your stomach, and the first part of your
small intestine (duodenum) through a thin, flexible
viewing instrument called an endoscope. The tip of the endoscope is inserted
through your mouth and then gently moved down your throat into the esophagus,
stomach, and duodenum (upper gastrointestinal tract).
entire upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract can be examined during this test, the
procedure is sometimes called esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD).
Using the endoscope, your doctor can look for
ulcers, inflammation, tumors, infection, or bleeding.
Tissue samples can be collected (biopsy),
polyps can be removed, and bleeding can be treated
through the endoscope. Endoscopy can reveal problems that do not show up on
X-ray tests, and it can sometimes eliminate the need for exploratory
Why It Is Done
An upper gastrointestinal
endoscopy may be done to:
- Find problems in the upper gastrointestinal
(GI) tract. These problems can include:
- Find the cause of vomiting blood
- Find the cause of symptoms, such as upper abdominal
pain or bloating, difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia), vomiting, or
unexplained weight loss.
- Find the cause of an
- Check the healing of stomach ulcers.
at the inside of the stomach and upper small intestine (duodenum) after
- Look for a blockage in the opening between the stomach and
duodenum (gastric outlet obstruction).
Endoscopy may also be done to:
- Check for an esophageal injury in an emergency
(for example, if the person has swallowed poison).
- Collect tissue
samples (biopsy) for examination in the laboratory.
- Remove growths
from inside the esophagus, stomach, or small intestine (gastrointestinal
- Treat upper gastrointestinal bleeding, including bleeding
caused by engorged veins in the esophagus (esophageal
- Remove foreign objects that have been
- Look for bleeding that may be causing a decrease in the
amount of oxygen-carrying substance (hemoglobin) found in red blood cells
How To Prepare
Before having an upper
gastrointestinal endoscopy, tell your doctor if you:
- Are allergic to any medicines, including
- Are taking any medicines.
- Have bleeding
problems or take blood-thinning medicine, such as warfarin (Coumadin).
- Have heart problems.
- Are or might be
diabetic and take insulin.
- Have had
surgery or radiation treatments to your esophagus, stomach, or the upper part
of your small intestine.
not eat or drink anything for 6 to 8 hours before the test. An empty stomach
helps your doctor see your stomach clearly during the test. It also reduces
your chances of vomiting. If you vomit, there is a small risk that your stomach
contents could enter your lungs (aspiration). If the test is done in an
emergency, a tube may be inserted through your nose or mouth to empty your