Endoscopy or Esophagoscopy Gastroscopy Duodenoscopy (EGD)

Your doctor has suggested you have an endoscopy or EGD as part of the evaluation at National Jewish Health. An EGD allows the doctor to look inside the esophagus, stomach and small intestine. These are the upper portions of your digestive system. You will be sedated for this procedure so it will not be uncomfortable. Your doctor will use a small flexible tube, starting at your mouth, to see inside your body. Your doctor may also do a biopsy during the EGD. During a biopsy a small amount of the tissue is taken from the lining of the digestive system. These biopsies can’t be felt so you will not be sore when you wake up. The tissue can be studied closely to help determine your diagnosis and the best treatment for you.

Video: What to Expect From Your Endoscopy Procedure


How do you get ready for the test?

Please follow these instructions closely. If this is not done, we will need to reschedule the test.

The medicines you receive during the EGD will make you sleepy. Ask someone you know and are comfortable with to accompany you to drive you home after the procedure. If you do not have someone with you to drive you home, the procedure will be cancelled. It is a good idea to have someone with you through the remainder of the day and night, but this is not imperative. You will not be able to work, drive, or make any decisions for the rest of the day. You will not be allowed to use public transportation unless you are accompanied.

If you use oxygen at home, please bring a portable oxygen unit with you. This includes oxygen use when you sleep and/or are active. You may need to use the oxygen for a while after the procedure.

Please follow these instructions carefully:

  • Inform your doctor of all the medicines you take.
  • Notify your doctor if you take blood thinners such as Coumadin, Plavix, Lovenox, Pradaxa, etc.
  • Inform your doctor if you take any oral medicines or insulin for diabetes.


The day of the test: 

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight. If you are scheduled for the EGD after 12 noon, you may have clear liquids until 4 hours before your procedure time on the day of your EGD. Clear liquids include Gatorade, strained fruit juice (no citrus), soda, popsicles without fruit or cream, gelatin without fruit, broth (skim the fat off the top), coffee or tea (without milk). Avoid drinking only water. Do not drink anything red or purple.
  • Do not take the medicines your doctor has asked you to hold.
  • Do take any heart, blood pressure or seizure medicine at least 2 hours before leaving for the test with a few sips of water.
  • Do bring your inhaled medicine with you. If you have sleep apnea, bring your CPAP mask and machine with you.
  • If you are diabetic, please bring your glucose meter, test strips, and a source of fast-acting glucose with you (such as glucose tablets or glucose gel).
  • Check in at the front desk at the time your test is scheduled.


What is done during the test?

When you arrive the nurse will explain what will be done before, during and after the EGD. If you have any questions, please ask. The nurse will start an IV. The IV will be used to give medicine to make you sleepy and relaxed. You will be monitored closely during the test. You will lie down during the EGD. A mouthpiece will help you keep your mouth open. Once the EGD is done you will rest. You will be sleepy in the beginning. Your doctor will determine when you are able to go home.


How long will the test take?

Plan on being at National Jewish Health for 3 to 4 hours, although sometimes people stay longer. Remember to have someone pick you up after your EGD and stay with you during the night.


How do you get to your test?

On the day of your scheduled test, check in at the Front Desk. If you have questions please call 303-398-1355.  Also, if you need to cancel the appointment or change the time please call.


This information has been approved by Philip D. Hanna, MD (September 2011).

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