When Is an EGD Performed?
If you experience symptoms associated with the upper GI tract, or unexplained stomach pain and eating problems, EGD can diagnose your condition and find the root cause of your discomfort. Schedule an appointment with the experienced and board-certified gastroenterologists at the Century Medical and Dental Center to learn more about upper endoscopy and what conditions it can help detect and treat. Digestive problems affect your life and health significantly, and you can end up with complications if you do not seek medical assistance timely. The top-rated specialists can help you find relief from all types of digestive disorders by performing the best endoscopic procedure to identify the cause of your discomfort.
When Is an EGD Performed?
Doctors recommend EGD if you have persistent stomach ache along with other troubling symptoms that begin to affect your eating habits and routine life.
Occasional stomach ache is normal, and it could be anything from getting hit by a stomach bug to something that did not go well with you or even a food allergy, but anything serious than that requires detailed investigation. Your gastroenterologist may be able to pinpoint the cause of your stomach problems by performing an upper GI endoscopy.
What Is an EGD Test?
An esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a test in which the doctor uses an endoscope to examine the lining of your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum.
- Esophagus – The muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach and carries food from your mouth to the stomach
- Stomach – The organ that holds food and starts the digestion process
- Duodenum – The upper part of your small intestine
The endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube with a light, and camera attached to the end. An EGD test involves a procedure in which an endoscope is passed down the throat, along the length of your esophagus. It checks any problems that you may be having, related to the stomach, esophagus, and duodenum. EGD is used for both diagnostic procedures and therapeutic procedures.
Usually performed as an outpatient procedure, upper endoscopy is sometimes conducted in the hospital or emergency room to identify and treat conditions like upper digestive system bleeding.
What Happens During an Upper GI Endoscopy?
Popularly known as EGD, this test uses an endoscope to take pictures of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum to diagnose any problems in the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
The doctor will begin the procedure by sedating you. While you are under sedation, the doctor will insert the tube into the GI tract through your mouth. The scope is then gently pushed along the GI tract, allowing it to take video images that the doctor can see on a monitor.
When EGD Becomes Necessary – Signs and Symptoms
Your gastroenterologist may suggest EGD if you suffer from the following symptoms:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Upper abdominal pain
- Severe heartburn
- Unplanned weight loss
- Persistent vomiting or bloody vomits
- Blood in the GI tract
- Persistent heartburn
- Black or tarry stools
- Unexplained anemia
- Persistent nausea
- A feeling of fullness after eating less than usual
- A feeling that food is stuck behind your breastbone
In some cases, your doctor may recommend EGD to check how effectively a treatment is progressing or to track complications if you suffer from:
- Crohn’s disease
- Peptic ulcers
- Swollen veins in your lower esophagus
What Conditions Does EGD Help to Diagnose?
EGD plays a key role in diagnosing the following conditions:
- GERD – (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Blocked or narrowed tissue
- Ulcers and their accompanying redness and swelling
- Benign or malignant tumors
- Increased vein size in esophageal tissue
- Hiatal hernia, which is when the stomach moves up into the esophagus
- Tissue damage from ingesting dangerous chemicals like detergents or other cleaning agents
- Celiac disease – an autoimmune disease where the body reacts to foods containing gluten
- Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory condition of the intestines
- Infections in the upper GI tract
Endoscopy can also identify inflammation, ulcers, and tumors. Doctors prefer upper endoscopy as it is more accurate than x-rays for detecting abnormal growths such as cancer and for examining the inside of the upper digestive system.
What Abnormalities Can EGD Treat?
Contrary to what many people believe, an EGD is not only helpful in diagnosing problems in the upper GI tract. The gastroenterologist can also attach specialized tools to the scope to look up and even repair minor issues, including:
Controlling upper GI bleeding
- Removing polyps and tumors
- Opening constricted pathways
- Removing foreign objects
- Performing laser therapy
- Inserting necessary medical devices for tube feeding
- Banding oversized or otherwise abnormal veins in the esophagus
- Collecting tissue samples for further testing
What Makes EGD the Right Option?
EGD is the best option when it comes to diagnosing upper GI problems. The procedure has the following benefits:
- It is a quick and painless experience
- It offers a quick diagnosis that allows the doctor to start treatment without wasting any time
- It also enables the gastroenterologist to perform a corrective procedure if needed during the test
- It is a more comprehensive diagnostic tool as compared to an x-ray
- It records a video that helps the doctors compare the results with follow-up tests
A relatively low-risk procedure, an EGD makes it easy for the physicians to find the cause of specific digestive tract problems without making you feel a thing. It may irritate the throat or cause some bloating, but that goes away without causing any harm or lasting symptoms.
What Other Procedures Use Upper Endoscopy?
At times doctors combine an upper endoscopy with the following procedures:
- X-rays – In endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), doctors combine the two tools with injected dye. ERCP helps diagnose and treat problems that affect the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and bile ducts.
- Ultrasound – An endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) creates images of the digestive tract. EUS can also show surrounding organs, lymph nodes, and tissue.
With endoscopic treatment tools, healthcare providers can now offer better quality care to the patients and provide quick and effective treatment of various upper and lower digestive tracts.
Most of us do not think about seeking medical assistance for our gastric troubles unless they turn severe and lead to inflammation, persistent stomach ache, severe heartburn, and inability to eat or digest properly. The highly trained and experienced gastroenterologists at the
Century Medical and Dental Center provide the best solutions to all the problems related to the upper GI tract and treat everything from acid reflux to color cancer. The specialist doctors use EGD, the most reliable test to diagnose the unpleasant symptoms you are experiencing and help you live a better quality of life and enjoy the foods you love. With a detailed look at your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, the physicians can pinpoint the exact cause of your discomfort and suggest treatments that get you on the road to a speedy recovery.