What is EGD?
Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD, gastroscopy, stomach endoscopy) is a method of visualizing the upper digestive tract – the esophagus, stomach, duodenum. The procedure is performed using an endoscope, a special thin tube with a video camera, which is inserted through the mouth.
Conditions that are detected with the help of EGD:
- Esophageal mucous membrane traumas (esophagitis, erosions, ulcers).
- Other diseases of the esophageal mucous lining (esophageal varices, fungal infection, etc.).
- Backwash of stomach contents into the esophagus (gastroesophageal reflux).
- Stomach mucous lining diseases: gastritis, ulcer, erosions, and polyps.
- Backwash of duodenum contents into the stomach (duodenogastric reflux).
- Duodenal ulcer.
- Indirect manifestations of bile outflow disruption.
- Tumors of the upper digestive tract.
If necessary, a doctor might perform a biopsy, i.e., take a sample of the mucous lining for a lab test. A biopsy is also necessary to perform a urease test – a test for diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori, which is the cause of many stomach diseases and other conditions.
Diseases that can be caused by Helicobacter pylori:
- Stomach ulcer.
- Functional dyspepsia (pain, heaviness in the stomach).
- Iron-deficiency anemia.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency.
EGD at Kivach clinic
EGD is performed at the clinic under certain indications:
- Heartburn, burping, bitter taste in the mouth.
- Pain, feeling of fullness, heaviness in the upper abdomen.
- Monitor an earlier detected pathology.
- Control the effectiveness of the treatment.
- Suspicion of diseases associated with Helicobacter pylori.
- Long-term intake of painkillers (aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Anemia of unknown origin.
- Liver, gallbladder, pancreas diseases.
- Cancer prevention (to exclude the presence of cancer in the upper digestive tract).
- Age over 40 to exclude the presence or to early diagnose cancer.
What to expect during the procedure?
EGD is performed on an empty stomach.
The patient lays down on his/her side with his knees bent. Before the exam, a doctor sprays topical anesthetic onto the patient's throat to minimize discomfort. A doctor will insert a sterile endoscope into a patient's mouth and will examine the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. During the procedure, the patient is advised to breathe through the nose and stay still. The endoscopy takes approximately 10 minutes.
One can avoid discomfort (retching, burping) while having EGD under sedation. In this case, the patient is sedated for a short period of time under the supervision of an anesthesiologist.
The procedure is usually well-tolerated, and one can resume his/her normal activity straight after it.
Absolute contraindications are:
Acute stage of myocardial infarction; acute stage of stroke; severe cardiovascular and respiratory failure, hypertensive emergency, blood clotting disorders, stricture of the upper part of the esophagus, patient’s critical condition.
Relative contraindications are:
Acute inflammatory processes of mouth cavity and throat, upper airways. In these cases, EGC is postponed until the patient recovers.
- Is the procedure safe?
If the procedure is performed without sedation, it is necessary to adhere to the doctor's recommendations.
- Is the procedure painful?
The procedure is painless. During the procedure there might be some discomfort, such as burping or retching (without vomiting). After EGD, a patient might have throat irritation for one or two days.
- How to prepare for the procedure?
The procedure is performed on an empty stomach, after 8 hours of fasting. Drinking fluids or chewing gum is not allowed as well.
- Are complications possible?
There might be a reaction to the local anesthetic.
To avoid complications, the patient should inform the doctor about his/her allergic reactions and the details of other endoscopic examinations before the procedure.
- What ensures that the procedure is successful?
- Qualified medical specialists with extensive practical experience.
- Advanced equipment.
- Compliance with the standards of medical care.