EGD is a procedure where your esophagus, stomach, and the first portion of the small bowel (duodenum) are visualized using a flexible endoscope. You will receive sedation before the procedure is begun. A biopsy, or sample of tissue may be removed from these areas for microscopic analysis during the exam. The procedure takes about 15 minutes to complete and is seldom remembered by the patient. You will remain in the recovery area until you are fully awake. It is normal to experience some belching and mild abdominal discomfort for up to several hours after the exam. For further information on this procedure, please watch this video.
Risks, Complications, and Alternatives
Incidental side effects after EGD include bloating or distention, abdominal cramping and slightly scratchy throat for up to several days after the exam. Serious side-effects include bleeding (3 per 1,000 cases), perforation (tear in the stomach or esophageal lining) (1 per 1,000 cases), phlebitis (inflammation of the vein) and drug reactions (1 per 5,000 cases) and infections. EGD is not perfect and carries a small risk of missing a small polyp or growth. As an alternative, a barium test may be performed, but you would require an EGD if an abnormality is found.
Please DO NOT EAT or DRINK ANYTHING after midnight the day of your exam except for any medication you were instructed to take. If your procedure is scheduled for the afternoon, you may have a MAXIMUM of 8 oz. of clear liquids between MIDNIGHT and 4 HOURS PRIOR TO YOUR ARRIVAL TIME. (for example: If your arrival time is 12 Noon, you may DRINK 8 oz. of clear liquids between Midnight and 8 AM…but DO NOT EAT anything after midnight.) Do not smoke, use lozenges or hard candy, or chew gum the morning of your exam. It is VERY IMPORTANT to follow these instructions to allow the stomach to be clear for the physician to successfully perform the exam. IF YOU TAKE ANY HEART, BLOOD-PRESSURE, OR BREATHING MEDICATION, TAKE THEM WITH A SIP OF WATER PRIOR TO YOUR EXAM. IF YOU TAKE ASPIRIN, COUMADIN, PLAVIX, TICLID, OR ANY OTHER BLOOD-THINNER BY A DOCTOR’S ORDER, PLEASE LET US KNOW. THESE MEDICATIONS USUALLY ARE STOPPED PRIOR TO THE EXAM AND YOU MAY NEED TO GET SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS. YOUR PROCEDURE MAY BE CANCELLED DUE TO RISK OF BLEEDING IF SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS ARE NOT FOLLOWED. The scheduling nurse at Hershey Endoscopy Center should have given you specific instructions on how to take your medications prior to the exam. If you have any questions please call us at 717- 531-1318 option “0”.
The Day of your Exam
YOU WILL NEED TO BRING A DRIVER WITH YOU TO YOUR EXAM APPOINTMENT. You MAY NOT walk, take a taxi, or any other form of public transportation. You will not be permitted to drive for 12 hours following your procedure as your judgment will be impaired due to the sedation. Please remember to fill out and bring the information sheet that was mailed to you. Please wear comfortable clothing, preferably short-sleeves. You should plan to be at the Hershey Endoscopy Center about 1-2 hours.
After the Exam
Do not expect to return to work until the next day due to the effects of the sedation. Your physician will explain the results of your exam before discharge. Biopsy results may not be available for up to two weeks. Your referring physician will be sent a copy of your report. You will receive a copy of the report and written instructions which will include a phone number to call if you should have any problems or questions after you return home.
Questions about Prep after 4:30 PM: Call 717-531-8521 and ask for the GI Attending on-call.