Upper GI Endoscopy: Procedure, Benefits, and Recovery

Upper GI Endoscopy: Procedure, Benefits, and Recovery

Upper GI endoscopy is a minimally invasive medical procedure that involves the use of a flexible, lighted tube called an endoscope to examine the upper part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. This article aims to provide you with a comprehensive guide to upper GI endoscopy, including its benefits, risks, and recovery.

What is Upper GI Endoscopy?

Upper GI endoscopy, also known as esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), is a diagnostic procedure used to visually examine the upper part of the digestive system. During the procedure, a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope is inserted through the mouth and passed down the throat to the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum.

The endoscope contains a tiny camera that captures real-time images of the upper GI tract, allowing the doctor to identify any abnormalities, such as inflammation, ulcers, tumors, or bleeding.


Before undergoing upper GI endoscopy, your doctor will give you specific instructions to prepare for the procedure. These instructions may include:

  • Fasting for at least 6-8 hours before the procedure
  • Stopping certain medications that may affect blood clottings, such as aspirin, NSAIDs, or blood thinners
  • Informing your doctor of any allergies or medical conditions you have
  • Arranging for someone to drive you home after the procedure, as sedation is usually given

How is Upper GI Endoscopy Performed?

Upper GI endoscopy is typically performed as an outpatient procedure in a hospital or clinic. The procedure usually takes between 15 and 30 minutes to complete, depending on the complexity of the case.

During the procedure, you will lie on your left side, and the doctor will administer a local anesthetic spray to your throat to numb the area. You will also receive sedation to help you relax and minimize any discomfort.

Once you are sedated, the doctor will insert the endoscope through your mouth and into your esophagus. The endoscope is then advanced slowly down to your stomach and duodenum while the doctor examines the images on a monitor.

If necessary, the doctor may take tissue samples (biopsies) or remove polyps or other abnormal growths using specialized instruments passed through the endoscope. These samples will be sent to a lab for analysis.

Benefits | What is Upper GI Endoscopy

Upper GI endoscopy is a valuable diagnostic tool that allows doctors to identify and treat various GI disorders, including:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Ulcers
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Esophageal varices
  • Gastritis
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Cancer

Upper GI endoscopy can also be used to:

  • Monitor the healing process of previously treated GI conditions
  • Control bleeding in the upper GI tract
  • Remove foreign objects that may have been swallowed accidentally
  • Treat or prevent narrowing of the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum (strictures)
  • Insert a feeding tube or a stent to relieve obstructions

What Issues Do Gastroenterologists Treat?


After the procedure, you will be taken to a recovery area where you will be monitored until the sedation wears off. You may experience some mild discomfort or a sore throat, but these symptoms usually subside within a few hours.

You will be advised to rest for the remainder of the day and avoid driving or operating heavy machinery. You should also refrain from eating or drinking anything until the numbness in your throat wears off to avoid choking or aspiration.

Your doctor will provide you with specific instructions on when you can resume your normal activities and medications.

Conclusion: What is Upper GI Endoscopy

Upper GI endoscopy is a safe and effective procedure that can help diagnose and treat various GI conditions. By understanding the benefits, risks, and recovery process, you can be better prepared for the procedure and ensure a successful outcome.

If you have any questions or concerns about upper GI endoscopy, be sure to talk to your doctor.

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Dr. Sushil Kumar Jain is the Most Renowned & Experienced Endoscopist in Jaipur providing advanced endoscopy tests and procedures for gastro & liver-related diseases such as gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, ulcer bleeding, jaundice, liver biopsy, and liver cirrhosis treatment at ACE Gastro Super-Speciality Clinic.

FAQ: What is Upper GI Endoscopy

1. Is upper GI endoscopy painful?

Upper GI endoscopy is usually not painful, but you may experience some discomfort or a sore throat during or after the procedure.

2. How long does it take to recover from upper GI endoscopy?

The recovery time for upper GI endoscopy is usually a few hours, and you can resume your normal activities and diet as directed by your doctor.

3. Can upper GI detect cancer?

Yes, upper GI endoscopy can detect cancer and other abnormal growths in the upper GI tract.

4. How often should I undergo upper GI?

The frequency of upper GI endoscopy depends on your individual risk factors and medical history. Your doctor will recommend a schedule for you.

5. What should I do if I experience complications after upper GI endoscopy?

If you experience any complications after upper GI endoscopy, such as severe pain, bleeding, or difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical attention.

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