Also called EGD (Esophago-Gastro-Duodensoscopy), an endoscopy is a procedure that visualizes the upper part of the digestive tract down to the start of the small intestine. EGD may be used for both diagnosis and treatment of certain upper digestive system problems.
To schedule an appointment for an endoscopy with Los Angeles Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition, call us at (310) 289-8000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. An initial consultation is required.
Purpose of an Endoscopy
Endoscopy is used to detect a number of conditions and problems in the upper digestive system. The most common of these are:
- Abnormal growths
- Precancerous conditions
- Strictures (partial narrowing of the intestinal lumen)
- Inflammation, gastritis
- Helicobacter Pylori infection
- Hiatal hernia
- Acid reflux, GERD
Endoscopy is also used to help your doctor determine the cause of a number of symptoms. These include:
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bleeding in the upper digestive system
- Gastric reflux
Preparing for Your Endoscopy
It is important that your upper digestive system be empty before an endoscopy. To achieve this, you should not eat or drink for at least four hours leading up to the procedure. You may also need to stop certain medication, such as blood thinners in the days before your endoscopy, because blood thinners can increase your risk of bleeding. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medication you take and follow the specific instructions you receive.
During Your Endoscopy
Shortly before your procedure you may receive an anesthetic that is either gargled or sprayed in the back of the throat (this is not always required). The purpose of this is to numb the throat and reduce the gag reflex. You will then be given an intra-venous with a sedative to help you stay comfortable and relaxed throughout the procedure. Following this, you will be hooked up to a monitor for your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels.
During the endoscopy you will lie down on an exam table while an endoscope is passed through the esophagus and into the stomach. Here a tiny camera lets the doctor examine the intestinal lining. Air is also pumped through the endoscope to inflate the stomach and make it easier to examine. If there is an abnormal growth your doctor may take a biopsy using a small tool within the endoscope.
After Your Endoscopy
Following your endoscopy, you will need about an hour to recover in the recovery area. There may be slight nausea, sore throat, or bloating for a short period after the procedure. Serious complications resulting from endoscopy are extremely rare. For more information, ask your doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will I be able to drive myself home after the procedure?
A: No, the sedation used during the procedure can cause delayed reflexes and impaired judgment. You should not operate heavy machinery or make any legal decisions for twenty-four hours.
Q: What should I bring or wear to the procedure?
A: You do not need to bring anything other than what you would to any other doctor’s visit. As far as clothing, we encourage you to wear something loose and comfortable.
Q: How long will I be in the office on the day of my endoscopy?
A: This depends on each individual patient, but on average it takes between 2 ½ to 3 hours.
Contact a Los Angeles Endoscopy Expert
When it comes to endoscopy, choosing the right doctor is one of the most essential decisions you can make. Call LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition at (310) 289-8000, or email us to set up your appointment.
Next, read about capsule endoscopy.