What can be expected if the doctor orders an EGD?
- The patient is not to eat anything for at least six hours before the procedure.
- A local anesthetic will be sprayed into the patient's throat to suppress the gag reflex, and an intravenous sedative that will help the patient relax.
- The endoscope is then slowly passed into the patient's mouth and down the esophagus. The gag reflex and the urge to vomit usually pass once the tube is in the esophagus. The tube will not interfere with breathing.
- Once the endoscope is in place, the doctor will be able to examine the esophagus and stomach through a tiny camera, and detect any abnormalities. Other instruments can be inserted through the endoscope tube, which will allow the doctor to perform biopsies if such conditions as cancer or infections are evident.
- The patient may experience a sore throat for a few days after the procedure. This is common. If complications, such as vomiting a large amount of blood or severe stomach pains, occur, the doctor should be notified immediately.